The novel I've been assigned to read is Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown.
March 24, 2015
My book, Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown, started off with a high school student walking to a community service center. At first, I thought to myself that maybe one of her parents works here and she was walking to meet them after school. Well, the protagonist Ashleigh Maynard, goes into detail about her feeling anxious and scared about attending this after school activity. It's at this point I know she has done something wrong. Something illegal. She tells me how she has to have 60 full hours of community service done. Now I wonder what exactly she did. After awhile of her speaking to the secretary at the center, she goes to a computer and starts her project. This is when it hits me, or my aha moment. Ashleigh begins opening webpages on articles about "sexting scandals" in teens. The books states that she groans while reading them, because the fact it that these articles are about her!
The next two chapters in my book are both one big flash back. I can tell this because Ashleigh gave hints about this party happening in the past. Ashleigh goes to her friend Vonnie's house for what is said to be the biggest party of the year. Her boyfriend at the time, Kaleb, couldn't go because he had a baseball game and wanted to "hang with the boys." While I'm reading this I can tell that there is a bad connection between Ashleigh and Kaleb. After awhile of drinking and partying, the girls at the party start picking on Ashleigh about Kaleb. They tell her that she should send a nude picture to him before he goes to college. This becomes an internal conflict within Ashleigh and I am intrigued to see what she decides to do.
Contrasts and Contradictions
A few days into Ashleigh's community service, she starts to take notice of the people around her. The other people she is with in the community service center have done much greater crimes than Ashleigh, even though they are close to the same age as her. At this point, I begin to think about how bad of a crime sending provocative pictures to minors really is. These people have attempted to shoot people and sell drugs, like the young boy Darell. Do Darell and Ashleigh really deserve the same service time? There's also Amber, a seventeen year old who violated her parole and is seven months pregnant. Amber was not able to attend prom, unlike Ashleigh did her junior year. The way I see Ashleighs situation is that she is a white sheep in a room of black ones. Ashleigh, having done such a minor crime doesn't exactly fit in with these others, making her the white sheep. I hope too see more into these peoples lives later in the book.