The Bookshelf, A Teen Review: Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan

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Courtney Bowers writes a monthly book review The Bookshelf, A Teen Review. Courtney is a junior at Heritage High School in Blount County. Join Courtney in the book discussion under comments.

Kristi is definitely not a normal girl. She has her own style, which includes digging through the garbage to create outfits.

She has her own opinions, which tend to be laced with sarcasm and attitude. She also has an unusual mind - she’s psychic.

One might think that knowing others’ thoughts would make life easier, but that’s not the case for Kristi. The only thoughts she hears are others’ negative opinions of her weight and eccentric style. The worst part, however, is what she hears from Gusty Peterson, her lifelong crush, who thinks “sick” every time she walks by.

Her psychic abilities have made Kristi quite cynical of the entire world, from her career-obsessed mother to her absentee father to her strange hippie school. No one understands Kristi until she meets Mallory, the new boy at school. Their friendship is the only thing Kristi has left, but it becomes complicated when she hears Mallory’s romantic thoughts toward her.

To make things worse, an odd school assignment brings Kristi and Gusty together. Gusty sends mixed signals that confuse Kristi. Does she want Mallory, who’s obviously is interested in her? Or does she want the guy of her dreams, who may or may not feel the same? Kristi is about to learn that despite her psychic abilities, sometimes she cannot see what lies ahead, and sometimes the vibes she gets from others may not be exactly what she believes they are.

What’s great: This is a really interesting book for those who are intrigued by the paranormal. It’s a very honest novel that accurately shows the judgmental thoughts that nearly everyone thinks. Kristi is a great character because she never conforms to what others think she should, despite knowing what everyone’s true opinions are.

What’s lame: While Kristi’s voice is very witty at times, she is a bit cruel. Her comments are always rude and sarcastic, and sometimes it becomes irritating that she never has a positive attitude.

Should you read it? I really liked this story, because even though Kristi is psychic, she really doesn’t know what everyone thinks. I think this is a good example of how we jump to conclusions about others when we really don’t know the entire story. It’s a good moral lesson for all teenagers.

Have you read “Vibes?” Discuss your thoughts on the book below.

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