Today is the launch day for a new YA series from Annick Press called Single Voice. What’s different about this series is that the featured novellas were originally published in France and talks about the tough issues that some teens face in a way that doesn’t hold back. So far the series includes six novellas, two in each volume in a back-to-back flip-book format.
Annick Press was kind enough to let me participate in the launch by reviewing Just Julie by Nadia Xerri-L.
Confused. Lost. Out of control. That’s the perfect way to describe Julie emotionally. Alex, her favorite brother, has spent the past two years in jail, awaiting trail for murder. Julie may know what really happened on that fateful night when a boy was stabbed in a bar but who can she tell? Not her family who wants to believe that once the trial is over everything will go back to normal. Julie is alone with her secret but soon she has to decide to tell what she knows or stay silent forever.
When I read the book the first time, I just plowed through it. At less than 70 pages with lots of spacing, it was easy to do so. I was interested in the story and I wanted to know more about the main character. The readers get a glimpse of Julie’s family life but those characters aren’t fleshed out as much as I would have liked them to be. Her father is controlling, her mother’s passive, and her other older brother, Felix, is so invisible that I really didn’t see a need for him to be in the story.
There are parts of the book that I felt were jerky, sentences and paragraphs that I didn’t understand that were left in the story. But overall I felt the book was a good one. With the story so interesting, I’m sure young adult reluctant readers would gobble this book-and the rest of the series-up.
Here’s a passage in the book that I postmarked:
To have the right to be noticed, you have to have something special about you, a little extra, a little sparkle. I don’t have that little sparkle. Even if Alex helps me with my outfits. You can buy that sparkle; you can’t put it on in the morning. And ever since I was born, that something special, that something extra-I’ve just never had it.
Other blogs that are participating in the Single Voice series launch: