Rating: 4.0/5.0 stars
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Liz is Photogirl—sharp, focused and confident in what she sees through her camera lens. Confident that she and Kate will be best friends forever. But everything changes in one blurry night. Suddenly, Kate is avoiding her, and people are looking the other way when she passes in the halls. As the aftershocks from a startling accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself shifts out of focus. What happens when the picture you see no longer makes sense? What do you do when you may lose everything you love most?
Before taking a children’s lit course towards my MLS degree, I was not a fan of verse novels. Why you might ask? I felt like I had to read verse novels the same way I read poetry, which is not necessarily the case. Sometimes it is hard for me to get teens interested in reading a verse novel because they see that the book is made up of poems and assume that if they don’t like poetry, they won’t enjoy a verse novel. I try to say it reads more like a story than a poem, but that doesn’t always work. As a side note, I’d love any tips you have for “selling” verse novels to teens, aside from the already popular novels by Ellen Hopkins.
So when I finally made myself realize that I can read verse novels the same way I would read a regular novel, I really started enjoying verse novels. Using verse in this book worked so well because Marcus told a story in a quick, succinct way that captures your attention from the start of the novel and holds your attention throughout. Sort of like the main character’s passion for capturing photographs, Marcus tells the tale of Liz and her best friend Kate in brief snapshots, exposing key plot points slowly so that the story line unfolds throughout the entire novel, rather than at one specific point. This technique, along with writing, will keep readers interested in finding out why Kate all of a sudden begins avoiding Liz and why their relationship is ruined.
One of the things I really liked about this story is that it felt real. Liz experiences feelings and emotions, including towards Kate, that although we as readers might be shocked to read about, but that feel realistic. This verse novel is perfect for readers that enjoy a good story with conflict, tension, and character’s dealing with some hard to understand emotions.