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Audacious Hardcover – October 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 8 - 12
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1459805305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1459805309
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,085,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When a family moves to a new town and a bigger house, it doesn’t always mean a fresh start. In Prendergast’s affecting novel in verse, school life doesn’t change, just the names of the bullies do, and family life doesn’t change, it just unhinges at another address. Determined to be different at her new school—to fit in and belong for once—Raphaelle begins calling herself Ella. But Ella is the same person that she always was, and after she meets Samir in her art class, her life spirals out of control again. In deft, layered verse, Prendergast chronicles her heroine’s desperate search for a positive identity. Young love, religion, politics, prejudice, and the meaning of art in society all factor into Raphaelle’s acceptance of herself and her family in all its complexities. Many readers will recognize both her tendencies toward self-sabotage and her growing belief in herself, and they will likely want continue this journey in the planned sequel, Capricious. Grades 8-11. --Gail Bush

Review

"[An] action-packed coming-of-age tale fraught with familial and societal dysfunction...Prendergast offers great insight into teen psychology—especially that of the outcast—and boldly probes sensitive topics like religious prejudice, sex, censorship and eating disorders. A provocatively modern test of understanding difference." (Kirkus Reviews 2013-09-15)

“Fans of Ellen Hopkins and Sonya Sones’s novels in verse will delight in Prendergast’s rich, riveting story, first in a planned duo...Prendergast demonstrates a powerful understanding of the adolescent search for identity, and her writing uses the verse format to great effect, with an honest teenage voice, a willingness to play with poetic form, and an intensity that arises through the condensed language.” (Publishers Weekly 2013-09-16)

"Prendergast has written a stunning young adult novel which shows the coming-of-age process of a strong and independent young woman who wants to express herself through her art... Audacious is written entirely in verse, but readers will hardly notice this fact after the first few pages. Somehow, the author manages to create fully formed characters, interesting dialogue and a series of events which tell a complete story while using a minimum of words. Prendergast says enough that readers have a clear sense of plot, setting and characters, and yet readers are able to fill in any blanks with their own imagination—a perfect combination!" (CM Magazine 2013-09-20)

[Starred review] "Prendergast's sophomore YA novel is aptly named, both for the fierce spirit of its narrator, Ella, and the choice to tell her story entirely in verse...The verse bolsters character...[and] also allows Prendergast to take a jagged, piecemeal approach to telling Ella's story, a sort of diary structure that feels intimate and believable...The refusal to stick to one particular style, form, or rhyme scheme is an apt reflection of Ella's tumultuous teenage state...Prendergast asks concrete questions about faith, art, and politics that are sometimes avoided in YA...In Ella, Prendergast has created a voice that is definitely audacious—but also utterly real and memorable." (Quill & Quire 2013-10-01)

"In deft, layered verse, Prendergast chronicles her heroine’s desperate search for a positive identity. Young love, religion, politics, prejudice, and the meaning of art in society all factor into Raphaelle’s acceptance of herself and her family in all its complexities. Many readers will recognize both her tendencies toward self-sabotage and her growing belief in herself, and they will likely want continue this journey in the planned sequel, Capricious." (Booklist 2013-11-01)

"Told in verse, Audacious is a very quick read, but its few words don’t hinder the messages ...It covers a lot of sensitive issues, but I do think the author handled them all respectfully and in an approachable way. Ella is definitely a character that I admired and I enjoyed watching her grow as a person and learn about herself and the world." (Pinkindle blog 2013-10-08)

"A smart, powerful story about a teenage girl trying to navigate right and wrong...Raphaelle, or Ella, has a very compelling voice. She's smart, sharp, witty, and bold...Verse novels have a certain something to them not often found in prose...The reader comes face to face with the speaker's life, with their reactions and emotions, with their struggles and hopes." (Me on Books blog 2013-10-08)

"Raphaelle’s story will appeal to many teens, especially those who enjoy realistic fiction with an edge. The free-verse style is trendy and lends itself to books like this one, tackling mature and gritty subject matter...Teens who like novels in verse will be satisfied and reluctant readers looking for books with mature subject matter but less density will be pleased." (VOYA 2013-12-01)

"This stunning, potent novel-in-verse delivers a riveting story and a character who is independent yet unsure, brave yet vulnerable, and so utterly true to herself. Readers will revel in every carefully chosen word and image. Prendergast has created a magnificent portrait of high school life, of first love, of a family in crisis. She raises challenging, intriguing questions about religion, women in society, art and self-expression. She takes on so many things in this book and yet the reader never feels overwhelmed, it never once feels like too much. The poetry format is used to brilliant effect, compelling readers to slow down and savour each exquisitely crafted poem, and to enter more deeply into Ella’s mind and heart." (Canadian Children's Book News 2013-09-01)

"The verses flow well and readers will connect with Raphaelle and her desire to reinvent herself. Fans of Ellen Hopkins are sure to like this book." (Library Media Connection 2014-03-01)

"The novel contains multiple, adeptly intertwined plotlines that touch upon an extensive range of issues...A wonderfully fast-paced novel that mature teens are sure to embrace." (School Library Journal 2014-02-01)

"Smart, funny, clever and bold. Ella is a quirky, appealing character with a complicated back story and realistic, identifiable problems...Explores important, highly topical themes in an intelligent way." (Resource Links 2013-12-01)

"I love this character. She's bold, strong, and refuses to conform...This is definitely a novel that offers a lot of food for thought on what makes art, censorship, self-expression and confidence, but most of all, it's about having the courage to be audacious." (Rachel's Reading Timbits blog 2014-02-19)

"In many ways, Raphaelle’s audacity is not just an act of self-insistence but an open declaration of war on convention...[Prendergast's] language is unsentimental, and the everyday details in the verses balance the heavily emotional content." (Buried in Print blog 2014-02-16)

"The plot maintains interest and the characters are complex...Recommended for grades nine through twelve." (Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group 2014-01-01)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Audacious literally has me pulling at my hair in frustration right now. I've written and rewritten this review half a dozen times, and I still can't get my thoughts organized. There was a lot about this book that I liked, but in the end it left me feeling dissatisfied, and I'm having trouble articulating why.

The novel begins with our protagonist, Raphaelle, moving to a new town for her father's job. Raphaelle decides to use the move to start fresh: she will no longer be the girl who shows up at a black-and-white formal in a hot-pink dress or draws pictures of a "naked and well endowed" Christ on the board at her Catholic school. Instead, she decides to reinvent herself as "Ella," a nice, normal girl who doesn't spit in the face of convention just to watch people squirm.

In spite of this resolution, Ella just can't stifle her provocateur nature. When her art teacher asks her to submit a piece in the school art show, Raphaelle reemerges to create a work of art so daring it sets off a chain reaction of consequences, including criminal charges and expulsion from the school.

Amidst the fallout from the art show, Raphaelle must also navigate her relationship with her quasi-boyfriend Samir. Raphaelle is a vehement atheist, and Samir is Muslim. As you can guess, this causes all sorts of tension, which I found to be the most compelling aspect of the story.

So far, this probably sounds pretty good. At the very least, it doesn't sound bad, right? So what's with the hair pulling and frustration I mentioned in the beginning of this review?

The closest I can come to an explanation is that Raphaelle pisses me off. She's too set in her ways, too focused on shocking people and putting up walls between herself and others.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Angie on October 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Have you read the blurb? It sounds seriously amazing and different! I knew I had to read Audacious as soon as I read that blurb. Pornography charges for artwork? That is definitely something I have never read about before. However, the story ended up being about so much more than just Raphaelle's controversial painting. The author covers a lot of bases in Audacious: censorship, mental health, family dynamics, love, race, religion, and sex. It may seem like she tried to do too much, but everything fits together nicely as Ella tries to reinvent herself and find her true self.

Told in verse, Audacious is a very quick read, but it's few words don't hinder the messages in any way. Raphaelle is a girl who pushes all the wrong buttons just by being herself. Now he family is moving to a new town, and she plans to become someone new. Someone who blends in and coasts under the radar. This goes well until her art teacher asks Ella and Samir (the boy she ends up falling for) to do special pieces for the upcoming art exhibit. Ella wants to make a statement, but she has no idea about the consequences her painting will make. The painting in question was not what I was expecting at all, but I applaud Ella (and the author) for taking that risk. Ella gets the reaction she wants, but she also faces jail time. While she stands by her work, it does cause Ella to question decisions she's been making and the person she's becoming.

I loved the romance in Audacious! Ella is Irish and kind of Catholic, and Samir is Palestinian and Muslim. He's not suppose to date her because of his religion, but love follows no rules. They bond over art and really get to know each other. They comfort each other in times of need, and support each other in times of conflict.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kayla on October 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I love novels in verse and Audacious stands out in its own right because of Raphaelle, our wonderful leading lady. Every character in this book has his or her own flaws, including Raphaelle. She wants to fit in. She wants to get over the past. She wants to ignore everything that's wrong with her family so that she can focus on fixing herself instead. Sometimes she makes the wrong choices. Sometimes things turn out horribly for her. But she's real, and fun to read, and I couldn't wait to read on and see what else was going to happen with her.

I do think that this book tried to take on a lot of issues all at once and maybe it got stretched a little too thin in places. That's about the only complaint that I can think of because, otherwise, it was so beautifully written and captivating that I didn't care much about how long it dwelt on a particular plot point or feature.

I read the summary a while ago, just before I got the book, and didn't reread it beforehand. That gave Ella's story a little more suspense because I genuinely couldn't tell where the plot might have been going. Ella is trying to figure herself out and I liked how I as the reader was also trying to do the same thing, looking through her thoughts and actions and trying to determine what had happened to her in the past and why she acts and thinks rebelliously when at the same time some part of her just wants to blend into the background and be normal. I feel like everybody has these two warring sides within them, though in Ella it's more obvious a problem than it is for most people.

There were so many great characters in this book-Samir and his sister, Ella's art teacher and her disabled daughter, Ella's entire family-that I can still remember clearly and who all had an impact on Ella's way of thinking.
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