Young Love’s Rocky Road
The course of true love never did run smooth, and Marie Fostino’s young adult novel, The Silver Locket, tells the story of one teen girl’s unplanned pregnancy. Jenny’s life is uprooted when her dad takes a job that requires their family of seven to move to Oklahoma. As a sophomore, Jenny finds it very difficult to make new friends. She’s eventually befriended by a group of outcasts, but also faced with the moral implications of being in with the wrong crowd. Jacy, a boy who comes from a background of divorce and poverty, has his eye on her.
The first half of the novel progresses convincingly enough. The story is structured as a cautionary tale. lunchtime at McDonald’s where Jacy bums free French fries begins to hint at how growing up with a mostly absent mother and a father who lives on the Indian reservation have negatively impacted his outlook on life. He’s gorgeous and his attention toward Jenny find them gradually getting involved. Jenny starts sneaking out of the house, drinking, and doing drugs. It’s only a matter of time until Jacy gets her into bed.
The author tells the story in an omniscient (all-knowing) point of view. Head-hopping between multiple character viewpoints’ often takes place in the same chapter. The book would be strengthened by limiting the story to Jenny’s perspective. The times when the reader gets to see Jacy’s mindset feel a bit like a stretch. As a character, Jacy goes through just as many changes as Jenny, but his personal journey doesn’t ring as true. Formatting is an issue at times as are grammatical errors, such as word misuse. Much of the dialogue feels authentic and is one of the author’s strong suites.
The second half of the story contains more telling of how events unfold rather than showing. For instance, the reader is told of Jenny and Jacy’s path to true love, but not shown how they actually grow closer after he finds out she’s pregnant. More interaction needed to be used to establish their growing bond. Her family’s togetherness is mostly shown in their Friday family movie nights, which at times felt a bit thin in getting the point across. The mother truly comes across as caring and true to her Christian beliefs.
The Silver Locket by Marie Fostino provides plenty of food for thought and it’s a quick read as well. It would be a good book to discuss with your teen as they start to face many of life’s exciting and harsh realities.
JERIWB’s Rating: 3.0 Stars (“Liked It”)
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