Books,  Reviews

YA Review: Brilliant Hues by Naomi Kinsman

Brilliant Hues (Faithgirlz!) by Naomi Kinsman
Reviewed by: Lori Twichell
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Publication Date: September 4, 2012

It’s time to go. Sadie Douglas and her father have changed the way people look at bears and hunting in Owl Creek, Michigan. Now it’s time for them to return to California. Another set of goodbyes? It seems like too much for a young teenager to bear.

When she gets back to California, she realizes that life did not just sit around and wait for her. Friends that she left behind when she went to Michigan are completely different people now. An interest in boys has changed some of the dynamics and more than that, several of her friends have changed their ideas about life and what’s right and wrong. Sadie soon discovers that she’s not part of the ‘group’ anymore and that she has a lot to learn about these girls she’s always called friends.

As a mediator, her dad’s job has never really been safe or easy. When people are arguing and fighting there’s always a lot of passion on both sides and stepping in to try and find middle ground isn’t easy. But this time, there are lives hanging in the balance of his decision. Not bears either. People. Kids. Her father’s job could mean life or death for someone. So the people involved will stop at nothing to get their side to win. That includes threatening Sadie’s life and dragging Sadie into the very public spotlight on this case.

Teenagers always need to learn how to control their tongues, but Sadie learns these lessons in a huge way. Most teenagers don’t have to worry about ruining their father’s jobs or being on the evening news! When Sadie’s life gets threatened, her parents don’t let it slide. They make arrangements to send Sadie to the safest place they know: Owl Creek. Mixed between excitement at seeing her friends and concern for her family and the children she’s come to love, Sadie once again takes on a massive change and a huge amount of stress in her life.

As the most recent installment in this Sadie’s Sketchbook series, this story felt a little more heavy handed than previous books. This time, the drama surrounding Sadie was high level angst. Life threatening situations, death all around her, and big changes amongst her friends made it feel like there was less for Sadie to count on and far more for her to juggle.

Still, I love the characters and the story. I love seeing how Sadie has grown and changed over these four books. Her character has matured and learned how to deal with stressful situations. She’s also learned a great deal about how to talk to people and take other people’s views into account. It’s a fabulous lesson for a teen of this age. She’s also learned how to juggle far more than many adults I know.

Sadie is a great example of a young woman for teens and tweens. Two thumbs up on this series.

Rated G: Heavy topics in this one and some stressful situations that could be overwhelming for younger readers. Parents, just be ready for questions on this one!

Review copy provided by the publisher. Thank you!