Official Review: Senior year by Jeremy C. Stanek

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Official Review: Senior year by Jeremy C. Stanek

Post by MarisaRose » 01 Sep 2017, 10:58

[Following is an official review of "Senior year" by Jeremy C. Stanek.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Senior Year by Jeremy C. Stanek is a YA novella that tackles heavy themes like bullying, sexuality, friendships and the transition to adulthood. Alyssa Jones starts her senior year of high school with the same trepidation she’s felt at the beginning of every past school year. The target of many bullies, Alyssa has never felt comfortable in her own skin because she’s ridiculed for her looks, her ethnicity, and just about any other reason her bullies come up with. Luckily, she’s kept her most personal secret from them; a secret that will surely increase their nastiness towards her if discovered. Thankfully, a new student, Mark, befriends Alyssa at the onset of the school year, and the two form a friendship based on common interests that makes each day bearable. Alyssa feels comfortable confiding in Mark, but when her secret is exposed, both of their lives change forever.

The narrative of Senior Year is fast paced, and the author crams quite a bit of character development into this relatively short read (the novella is a little over one-hundred pages). This is exemplified by Alyssa's fully developed persona; it is easy to picture her home life as well as understand her feelings and commiserate with her frustrations. The use of the third person limited perspective successfully drew focus away from other characters, enabling the reader to quickly form an intimate bond with Alyssa.

That being said, there were some secondary character traits and important plot points that felt overdrawn and too obvious. Unfortunately, this led to a somewhat anticlimactic reveal at the end. However, given the target audience, this book may still pack some unexpected punch with less experienced readers. This book would be most enjoyed by early high school students; the writing style and somewhat obvious content may be too pedestrian for older YA readers.

Although the story was, for the most part, captivating, the writing proved to be a distraction. This book is in dire need of a thorough round of editing. Grammatical errors plague the narrative starting on the very first page when what should be ‘area’ is written as ‘are.’ The editorial issues littered throughout the pages were a significant enough distraction to influence the final rating.

For the most part, the story of Alyssa Jones’ senior year carried me along, and I really enjoyed getting to know the character of Alyssa. Due to the fact that this book is most appropriate for younger YA readers, the somewhat obvious outcomes did not impact the final rating. However, the poor editing did lead to the subtraction of one star, leaving Senior Year with a final rating of 3 out of 4 stars.

Senior year
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Post by kandscreeley » 03 Sep 2017, 15:12

I'm sorry the writing too away from the message and enjoyment of the book. It's too bad when the reveal is anticlimactic as well. I'm glad you were able to find some enjoyment though.
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Post by The Researcher » 04 Sep 2017, 07:46

The story looks promising. Too bad it has so many editing issues.
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Post by Mercy Bolo » 04 Sep 2017, 10:54

Bullying is such a serious problem. It's always good to have a shoulder to lean on.
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Post by Alicnim » 04 Sep 2017, 11:15

Not my favourite genre but your review is encouraging.

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Post by geoffrey ngoima » 04 Sep 2017, 16:38

Look like it was coming along well, apart from the editing, It's something I can give my 2/3 days to. Great review
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Post by Mtsweni Nelsy » 08 Sep 2017, 11:26

Thanks for the review, the books sounds interesting I should read it!

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 29 Sep 2017, 05:01

Sounds like a very interesting book with relevant themes. Too bad, though, about the errors. Great job on the review.

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Post by GPM » 29 Sep 2017, 08:12

Most young adult genre books that I have read are great read, however, grammatical errors distract me also in reading.
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