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Shredded Paperback – April 1, 2013
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"Shredded is the holy grail of young adult fiction. This book is absolutely perfect."
- San Francisco Book Review (5 stars)
"I loved this book... Karen Avivi's extensive research into BMX tricks and competitions has resulted in a book that keeps the reader's attention riveted during the description of each gravity-defying trick. She also addresses some very important issues about how young women are frequently treated in extreme sport competitions, and how that can be changed by the young women who participate. You don't have to be a woman to enjoy this book or be into BMX or other extreme sports. It is a fabulous read and one I wholeheartedly recommend." -Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
"...I love this book. Flippin' LOVE IT.... Fast paced, emotionally resonant, and high speed action: this book will play well with guys and girls. The writing is clear and compelling - Josie Peters as a character is clear as day, and her hesitations, hurts, and victories make the text live and breathe.
Seriously, if you have any teen/tween girls around you - put this book into their hands. Read it yourself. It's powerfully motivating..."
-Reviewed by Tanita Davis of Finding Wonderland: The Writing YA Weblog writingya.blogspot.ca
"This book is so good it made me want to start shouting empowerment slogans at the top of my lungs like some sort of deranged Spice Girl." - Litchick's Hit List (Rating: A)
"Avivi has herself a novel that teen girls will not be able to resist!
A most delicious novel for any middle/high school library!"
- Jennifer Szoch at Novel Nutritious
"Engrossing, pulse-racing and features one hell of a daredevil for a heroine!"
- Dia Pelaez at Book Junkie Joint (5 stars)
"Fantastic Sports Read for Teen Girls and Guys ... Definitely going on my 'Recommended' list!"- Kelli Bragg at kellithelibrarian.com
About the Author
Karen Avivi is never bored. If the weather is nice, it’s almost impossible for her to stay inside. Karen has tried surfing, skydiving, scuba diving, stunt classes, archery, winter camping, orienteering, mountaineering, mountain biking, and she even attempted a bike ramp once but it didn’t end well. If she’s not reading or writing, she’s usually planning a new adventure.
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Top customer reviews
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The novel follows sixteen-year-old Josie Peters as she sets out to qualify for the BMX circuit the summer before her senior year. Josie knows it won’t be easy, but if nothing else, it’s an excuse for a road trip with her friends and a chance to recover from a disastrous year at school. At least that’s the plan. But Josie is no dilettante when it comes to competitive sports and soon finds herself drawn into the male-dominated world of BMX, in which she must navigate the hairpin turns of professional and personal relationships. Along the way, she gets a little help from her friends. The author has a fine eye for friendships, and the girls on the circuit provide much of the fun while buoying Josie’s spirits.
The BMX setting is fully developed and despite a smattering of technical language, still makes for an easy read. Avivi selects her details with care, using them to pull us into Josie’s world and keep us there without overwhelming. The author is equally circumspect about the feminist themes that give the novel its weight. She is never heavy handed in her treatment of the subject, and Josie’s character is a complex mixture of girly and tough as she negotiates the BMX scene on her own terms, changing the rules to suit the situation and reflect her growth. And not always comfortably.
This is accomplished writing and a strong debut. I can’t wait to see what this author does next. Write faster, Karen Avivi!
The lead character is too tightly wound for me to identify with, yet she is perfectly realistic. A girl who thinks for herself and has some fun friends. My favorite character is her friend Connor who provides welcome comic relief--he provided me with several laugh out loud moments.
The book starts out as though it might have a "My So-Called Friends" flavor, but that soon changes as the characters develop. Even the sports centered egotistical brother does some growing.
I think that I can probably count on one hand the number of YA books I've read in which the female protagonist plays a sport and it's mentioned more than just "oh I went to tennis practice." And this book isn't just about any old sport either...this book is about BMX riding. I didn't even know that BMX riding was an option as a sport when I was growing up. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. More girls need to be exposed to awesome sports like this...and, like Julie says, not just because their older brother's into it.
Julie's story starts when, after she lands her first back flip at a skate park, she finds out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her. This moment creates a theme that transcends this whole novel...girls are multifaceted, and they shouldn't just be looked at as either girly, manly, nonexistent, or in the way.
And that's what's so great about Shredded. This book is groundbreaking and inspirational, but Julie isn't the perfect pedestaled heroine, either. Yes, she is brave, tough, and amazing...but she's also scared, an underdog, and real. She does backflips and tail whips, but she also cries when she realizes all her friends are leaving her for the summer, and is embarrassed when she has to go to prom with bruises on her face from falling off her bike. Josie is exactly the kind of role model I would want for my daughter. Somebody who is a completely normal girl, but overcomes incredible obstacles while still maintaining her unique and lovable personality.
And I adored Julie. For some reason, I was able to connect with her very well. She underwent a lot of struggles that a lot of teenage girls go through, like dealing with sibling rivalry, overprotective parents (oh my god, were her parents awful), growing apart from a best friend, and defining relationships with male friends. But she also kicks butt at BMX riding. I loved reading all of the scenes with her riding BMX at competitions. This book allowed me a glimpse into a very exciting and interesting world that I previously knew nothing about. And even if I don't want to go hop on a BMX bike after reading Shredded, I still want to go out there and do something...and any book that makes you feel like that is truly special.
I have to be honest...I really wanted to give this book 5 stars. But ultimately I had to go with only 4, because of the ending. While I liked the ending in general, there were a bunch of loose ends that weren't addressed, and I wish that the book had been slightly longer in order to reveal what happened with those plot lines, for example: Josie's brother's relationship status and Josie's relationship with Conner. It was all just tied up way too quickly, I thought.
But I still think that this book is extremely underrated and should be widely read amongst teenage girls, particular those still in middle school. I also think that this book has just barely scraped the surface of an extremely important and relevant topic that there needs to be so much more of in the world of YA contemporary lit. There is so much potential here, and I'm excited to see more books like this in the future.
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*attempts to stand on soap box*
“EVERYBODY LISTEN U-”
*falls off rickety soap box*
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