Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Forward Pass by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

Forward PassBig thumbs up to the author for tackling a very "sensitive" subject in the YA world...actually, two subjects: sexual abuse and sexuality.

Parmita is at a special sports-oriented school in Canada. Though months from graduating high school, she's already living away from her parents, with a family near the school, sort of like an exchange student program but there is no exchange.

By day she plays soccer and tries to avoid her very hands-on coach, by night she battles with the growing attraction to her best girl friend. Nobody knows she's a lesbian.

Long story short, the coach does some inappropriate things and lays it out like this: if Parm tells, the coach will make sure she doesn't go to Nationals (a big deal) and will say it was all mutual (it wasn't.)

Parm being a young girl who hasn't  yet "come out" of the closet yet is faced with some really tough choices. I fell this is an important story. Many young people face stuff like this and sadly, out of shame or fear, won't speak up. This enables people in positions of power to continue abusing others, something Parm realizes. But just when she decides to take action, someone else does it for her.

Again, I appreciated the lessons in this book and the fact it brings awareness to a serious problem, not only sexual abuse, but a teenager's fear of "coming out".
What I didn't like: 1. The story was real quick in the telling. It bypassed descriptions and emotions much of the time just to lay the story quickly on the page. Don't tell me Parmita sits there and cries, tell me what she is feeling deep inside, especially after the social network thing. WOW. I felt that warranted more emotions than we were given. 2. There was no dawning awareness of her sexuality. I'm not sure when that happened. I wanted to know when she realized she was a lesbian, what that realization was like. 3. There was a beautiful opportunity here to show the Christian community should practice "tolerance" of others. I don't like the outcome with her billet/exchange family. Perfect opp was there and passed over, to educate the family.

Still a very good read though and I def think young people should read it. Three bikes. I got this from netgalley.

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