American Fringe by Valerie Frankel

Adora Benet has landed the job as the writer for a teen advice column. She’s thrilled as the column becomes popular and sought after. After responding to an anonymous question in her column, she unwittingly inspires a senator to run for president. The senator’s son provides Adora with some complications just when things are going so well with her boyfriend, Nate.

I thought this was a good book, that was well written, if somewhat average feeling. The characters were fairly engaging and I felt the struggle Dora went through with the pressure from her parents while she was still feeling so rudderless. Then the success of her column gave her some always needed esteem. Yet I didn’t feel engaged with her. I didn’t feel invested in any of the characters.

What concerns me the most in Young Adult fiction these days is use of profanity and the casualness of the sexual relationships. Young Adult fiction is geared towards 12 year olds and up. It’s sad that they are further inundated with the “f” word and teenagers having sex where it’s treated as just a matter of course, and not an important decision. I think it’s an unnecessary element to the story doing nothing to further the characters or plot.

This is the third in the “Fringe” series and I don’t think you need to read the others in order to understand the plot. They seem to stand alone quite well.

While this wasn’t a bad book, and the writing was good, I was left feeling a big flat at the end. The sex and profanity lead me to give it a 2-1/2 Klover rating, as you may want to think about it before your young adult reads it.


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