Kendra by Coe Booth
I've had this review in my drafts folder for over a month (and read the novel longer ago than that), but this past month has been pretty busy at with scary budget news at work, lots of renovation planning*, the usual crazy-making customers,** and the three final projects due for school. But my semester has now ended (and only one more to go!!!), so I finally have time to give this blog the attention it deserves.
After reading Coe Booth's debut novel Tyrell, I was eagerly anticipating Kendra. I took it along on my last trip to New York to read on the plane, and ended up finishing it while we were still on the runway (I really need a Kindle).
At 14, Kendra is now the same age that her mother was when she was born, and has been raised by her grandmother while her mother was completing her education. Her mother, now 28, has just finished her PhD, and Kendra is excited for her to move back home.
At the same time, however, Kendra is starting high school, navigating the new world of teenage relationships, while her grandmother is intent on preventing her from making the same mistakes as her mother.
In Kendra, Coe Booth presents an interesting perspective on teen pregnancy, and a much needed one. So many novels on this subject end with the birth of the child, or quickly wrap everything up in a epilogue, but Booth instead focuses on the difficulties that face the child of such a young mother, and does so in a compelling narrative.
While I definitely would recommend this novel for teens, I should point out that there is one rather explicit sex scene, but Booth handles it brillantly, and I think it's absolutely necessary for character development in the novel.
And, as a side note for those who enjoyed Tyrell, he does make a small cameo near the end of the novel.
Around the blogs:
YALSA, My Life in..., Westchester Library System,
*Not sure if I mentioned this before, but the branch where I work is getting ready to close for about 9 months for renovations. We're closing Dec. 17th, and there are still so many things up in the air, so it's a bit stressful.
**How many times do I have to explain that e-mail addresses do not have spaces? To the same customer?