Shredded - Karen Avivi

What to say, what to say...this was a hard to rate book; I liked it well enough, but it didn't blow me away.

Let me start with this synopsis: "Drop into the world of girls’ freestyle BMX for an action-packed summer road-trip adventure.

Josie Peters thinks she’ll do anything to qualify for the Ultimate BMX freestyle event the summer before her senior year. She can handle road trips and back flips, but when flashy rider R.T. Torres tempts her with an easy “in,” the sacrifices required threaten to send Josie spinning out of control."

The action that you think this book will be filled with? Meh, not so much. The writing doesn't convey that tension and urgency to make you sit on the edge of your seat. It's really dry, and I know I would have enjoyed this so much more had I gotten that show instead of tell. For the vast majority of this book I was aware of the words I was reading, instead of watching the story, and that's one way to make me not love a book. So many times I wanted to just throw her phone away because I was sick of hearing about her checking her messages, or other pointless phone related paragraphs just did a search, and the word phone is mentioned 93 times. Here are a couple of random examples of the dry and boring writing (in no particular order):

"Even though it was only eight in the morning, the air was heating up. I unzipped my hoodie while riding no-handed."

"I wrote back to Lauryn and Alexis telling them it looked good and I'd finalize our filming plan for Thursday. After printing out my final version of the itinerary and logging off the computer I went to my room to strategize."

"Four phone messages had come in while I'd been sleeping."

"Gianna came into the living room with her boyfriend Bruce trailing behind her, checking messages on his phone."..."Bruce didn't look up from his phone."..."Bruce looked up from his phone."..."Bruce hugged Gianna around the waist and then busied himself with his phone again."

"After I hung up, my phone prompted me to add her to my contacts. I hesitated, but added her."

"I looked for Gianna and checked my messages before sitting."

While the writing was really weak for me, the feminist message was really great. Girls don't have to be eye candy and are just as capable as boys, if only they're given a chance. Josie was very down to earth in this regard, and I like that about her. However, she makes a lot of comments about how her older brother is the favorite and her parents move heaven and earth to attend his sports functions (and just basically how he's more loved--though in fairness, she doesn't exactly whine, just brings it up--did that make sense?), but this didn't sit well with me since her parents were good parents. They were very involved, and hesitant about, with Josie's road trip, wanting to meet the girls and their parents, her mom got super involved in the clinic Josie planned, they made a welcome home celebratory party with banner (that Josie said only ever had Troy's name on it), and things like this. They were a team and seemed to be very loving and normal, which I liked, but the contradiction Josie liked pointing out made no sense for me. She tried to justify it a couple of times, even going so far as to say they were discriminating against her and her mom agreeing, but again, it just didn't sit right.

I'm also left with some questions about the majority of the characters. What was the deal with Lauryn's family, and what was the point of even having it in s/l since it's never remotely resolved/explained? Why have Connor in there at all, and what were his shenanigans about--I'd liked to have seen more of him. Why didn't Troy have at least one redeeming brotherly moment in the entire story? Why was the high school principal called a dean, is that new, or just something I've only thought was for colleges? How was it Alexis could be so superficial and be such a good rider--where was her passion for the sport that made her so good to begin with that one really annoyed me.?! Why did Alexis call her mom by her first name? Why did R.T. get to be such a dick and in the end grab her and kiss her?! What was the purpose of Gianna, and her future husband (did anyone else notice the thinly veiled disdain for the housewife she was morphing into?! *"Cooking and crocheting? Was she kidding?"..."So the real her was a crocheting, cooking wife in training? I opened my mouth and shut it again."*)?

Now for some quotes I liked, because pointing out the issues I had with this is bringing me down:

"I loved letting people underestimate me and then showing them how wrong they were."

"I'd had my driver's license for over a year, but I still preferred riding whenever possible."

"I rode to not think about anything. When I was into it on a good day, it was almost like being disconnected from the rest of my life. I loved it, and I needed t get it back." /scene for a minute. I'm a cyclist, and I've been without my bike for about two weeks, and I'm dying. I really related to these feelings.

"The speed and accuracy of the mom circuit scared me sometimes."

"Whoever said that the older generation couldn't figure out computers had never met my mom and her network of mom spies. To them, the internet was a gold mine of information about us."

In closing, this isn't a bad book, and I like the message the author was sending out, but it wasn't strong enough for me to really fall in love with the characters like I'd hoped. I think this is a good filler book, and definitely a great book for young girls to read.