Friday, December 2, 2011

Review of Singled Out by Sara Griffiths

Singled Out
by Sara Griffiths
3 Scribbles
When Taylor receives a baseball scholarship to pitch for an all-boys prep school, Hazelton, she’s willing to give it a try, even if it is mostly to please her dad. But when she arrives, she realizes that she is less than welcome on campus—and begins to suspect a conspiracy that threatens to ruin her academic and baseball career. Readers will like Taylor’s character; she comes off as a tough, self-sufficient, lone-wolf type, but with a heart. When her housemate, Gabby, also on a scholarship for basketball, ends up the target of the bullying "Statesmen," Taylor reaches out to her, unable to see Gabby so distraught. The tension in the novel is admirable; it’s difficult to know who Taylor should really trust all the way up to the last few chapters. Ironically, despite the girls-at-boys-school conflict, the author stereotypes the girls’ characters. Taylor is a white baseball player, Gabby a black basketball player, and Kwan the smart, Asian math student. Additionally, the story comes off a bit rosy, making it appear that right choices are always rewarded and bad ones always punished, when in reality, that is not always the case. However, the themes of bullying and broken families are timely, and the subtle romance not too heavy handed. Overall, a good choice for sports readers, or readers who hesitate to pick up a book.

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