Select isn’t the type of novel that I usually go for, and as a result, I got mix feelings about it.
The novel tells the story of Julia Jaynes, a teenage girl that is banished by her family to a public high school for putting her family reputation on the line. Gifted with unusual abilities, Julia struggles to adapt in a world where she needs to find herself, what she truly wants and what she’s willing to do to get it. When she meets John Ford, once a tennis prodigy, she starts seeing the world outside the boundaries set by her social status and her over-protected life.
For me, this was an easy read: easy to follow, no need to think, just go with the flow. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with the story. The story-line is reasonably developed and the setting is a bit too cliche for my taste. I felt like it’s a bit too much teenage and family drama at some point and even though I understand that Julia had a sheltered life. Her wish for a strong male figure just made me feel like she is unable to deal with things herself and that didn’t set very well with me.
I would have liked to see a more felt description of emotions and connection between characters. I didn’t feel excitement or the need to keep reading the story even though I finished it. I like to feel like the story is unpredictable, and with this novel it was easy to see where it would end up.
The novel centres around the situations most teenagers go through: learning that life isn’t easy, that things change quickly and sometimes the people we get close to aren’t meant to stay in our lives forever.
I think the author still needs to polish her writing style a bit but the talent is there. I’m curious to read the next novel and see if there is an evolution.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Charlesbridge Teen and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.