Friday, November 9, 2012

Token by Alisa Kwitney and Joelle Jones

Shira has grown up being the apple of her father's eye, connecting to women over the age of seventy, and being a social pariah everywhere else. When the bullying at her school becomes too much and her father finds a new feminine focus, Shira acts out by shoplifting and starts a romance with a Spanish boy. As Shira thinks she's discovering who she is becoming, she is also losing sight of her relationships with her family.

I really liked the artwork in this, the emotions were so beautifully portrayed in the illustrations. They were very unique and completely lept off the page. Unfortunately this was really the only thing that I really enjoyed in this book.

Perhaps more accurately I should say that I didn't love the plotlines of the book. I liked Shira, I thought she was a unique character. She had a super interesting perspective and I loved her references to 1950s movies. She had a really honest reaction to what was going on around her. I thought it was interesting how she turns to shoplifting to alleviate her stress and inner turmoil, and how this rebellion is exacerbated by her romance with a boy from Spain.

So the main character was awesome, but the secondary characters and the subplots were not super emotionally-engaging. Her father doesn't really think about why Shira is acting out. He just wants her to fix it. I think his reaction is real, but doesn't mean I have to like it. Shira's dad falls in love with his secretary, and doesn't ever really communicate where he's hoping this relationship will become or how it will affect Shira. So it really comes as a surprise to Shira and the reader when she walks in on them making out and when he decides to propose. He's the adult, he shouldn't be making Shira feel guilty for not understanding what's going on or not being completely accepting of their relationship.

Shira also is bullied at school, and that's never really addressed throughout the book. It's a main theme, and yet there's not real resolution to the problem. Sad. There didn't need to be retribution just more of an apparent conclusion for me on that plot.

So there were some excellent things, and there were some disappointing things. Overall it was okay, it could've been awesome though. Kind of a let down.

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