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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Secret Journal of Brett Colton...Review

About the book:
Kathy Colton can't stand her brother, Brett. Her family talks as if he were perfect! All Kathy knows for sure is that Brett is dead. He died of leukemia when he was sixteen and she was only two. But when Kathy turns sixteen, she discovers her brother's hidden journal - a journal written especially for her - and learns about the brother she never knew. At the same time, Kathy is mortified by an assignment to tutor the popular high school quarterback Jason West, a football jock who, even worse, is a Mormon. Author Kay Lynn Mangum brilliantly weaves the dual stories of a dying brother and a coming-of-age sister who learn the importance of loving our family and our friends and nurturing our faith.

Kathy Colton doesn't remember her older brother. He was 17 when he died from Leukemia and she was two. But, in her family's eyes, Brett was perfect and could do no wrong: he was the perfect son, the beloved high school football player adored by all. She grows up feeling resentful of this mysterious, perfect person. On her 16th birthday, her mother gives her a letter. Written by Brett to her, it leads her to the journal Brett kept during his illness. Rather than simply recording what happens to him, Brett writes his journal as if he's writing a letter to his beloved little sister.

Kathy was also asked to tutor a football player in English. Jason is a Mormon, and a star quarterback. Hating football because of her brother, Kathy struggles with her burgeoning friendship with Jason. Her mother hates Jason simply because Jason is Mormon. It's during this time that Kathy finds Brett's journal. The journey that Kathy embarks on, as she reads it, changes her life.

Kathy is very much an angry teenage girl: she doesn't feel like her parents understand her, her remaining siblings are significantly older than she is, and they all control her life and, in her mind, have never "gotten over" Brett.

I've never read Kay Lynn Mangum before, but I enjoyed this story. She tells the story from the non-Mormon perspective of someone who is drawn to the faith through her experiences with others. I found it well done and very thought-provoking. I never felt the religious aspects were at all preachy. I enjoyed seeing Kathy change and become a kinder, softer person as she found the LDS faith. It's predictable, but enjoyable, and highly emotional. You'll need a box of kleenex to get through it.

I was surprised at how much I liked this book. I don't normally read teen books.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 10/08

* * * *
4/5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. Teen books have changed a lot these days and there are a lot of great, emotional, thought-provoking ones.

    I'd come across this book in the past but have not read it. Nice review though. I'm a bit more curious now!