Author: Jennifer Brown
Published: May 21st 2013
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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her while he's away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest she text him a picture of herself -- sans swimsuit -- to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits "send."
But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone -- until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he's the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh's photo -- and didn't look.
Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown brings readers a gripping novel about honesty and betrayal, redemption and friendship, attraction and integrity, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn't always tell the whole story.
I actually don’t know why this book has such a low rating on Goodreads since it voiced an important issue that my generation most definitely has: everything is pictured and filmed and instantly published without no shame or thoughts about the consequences. In my opinion, Thousand Words is a great novel for teenagers to read and offers thoughts to grown-ups as well.
“People talked. Let them talk. Nothing I could do to stop them. They knew the thousand words, but they didn't know the rest of the story.”
The story. Ashleigh is one of the popular kids and has a ton of friends. She’s in the school’s track team, has a very respected family and a great boyfriend. However.. her boyfriend Kaleb is leaving for college soon and all he cares about is spending time with his boys from his baseball team. With a little encouragement from her friends, Ashleigh sends a compromising picture of herself to her boyfriend. This could only make things better. There’s no way that this is the turning point to something horrible, is there?
My thoughts. I found Ashleigh a little hard to connect with but once I did, I was totally rooting for her to get everything worked out in this awful situation. I knew this book was about sexting, but I had no idea how the whole picture would come together. I don’t think Ashleigh was innocent and she provoked the situation a little with her attitude and doubts in some situations, but I think the one who forwarded the picture, was a total d-bag! I’m aware of teenagers showcasing their body very freely, but I had no idea it would ruin a person’s life to this extent. I found this solution to be very realistic though and actually liked that it wasn’t all flowers and candy for Ashleigh, but she, therefore us, had to suffer for acting irrationally and the one who forwarded the message, got what one deserved! It’s never okay to publicly humiliate someone, no matter how angry you are.
What I liked best were the parts where Ashleigh spent time doing her community service. They were educational and showed us different teens with different problems which I found interesting and captivating. Also, Mack—the sort-of-love-interest-slash-friend—was a great change since he was hard to crack. That nut had a tough shell around him and Ashleigh had to twist and shake him to get him to open up a little. Moreover, he wasn’t one of the good-looking swoon-worthy guys. No—he had his secrets and definitely falls into the mysterious category, but he was a total opposite from Kaleb who was a very handsome guy. Point: good looks don’t make for a good personality. Oh, and the way this harmed Ashleigh’s family and friendship with her best friend—it was hard to read about, but by the end made me smile. Trust is hard to earn back and Ashleigh had to earn it as well as give it.
At the end of the day, it was my first ever Jennifer Brown book and I read the interview with her at the end of my e-copy. I love how she said that she wants to basically educate teenagers and give them something to think about and write unconventional stories rather than follow the formula. That is exactly what she did! She most certainly doesn’t follow any trends, but speaks the truth and paints a very painful, realistic picture in front of us. I definitely want to explore some more!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars