Monday, June 21

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all at Paradise—the resort in the Caribbean, that is—for different reasons, but in Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Over the course of four months, through four voices and four stories, what happened in Paradise will change them all. 
I came into Tangled pretty open. I mean, sure, Carolyn Mackler writes great novels (The Earth, My Butt, anyone?), but given the vague summary, I had no real idea of what to expect.  So in a way, I'd like to think reading Tangled was... serendipitous. When I stepped into the library, I had no idea I'd be walking out with Tangled, and I'm glad I did. 
Jenna, Dakota, Owen, and Skye are beautifully dynamic.  Jenna starts the novel off, and while there is some jealousy of seemingly perfect Skye, Jenna still comes off likable, and more so, understandable. I was really able to get Jenna's emotions, and she started off the novel perfectly, posing a lot of questions that are later answered by the other characters. 
While a lot of issues are tackled, after reading  The Library Lurker's post on size in YA, I realized that Mackler subtly took on this issue as well. While Jenna seems to be conscious of her weight at moments, when the other characters speak, they don't mention her weight once. Dakota thinks of her as curvy, even, and he means it in the best way. I love that Mackler handled it this way. Jenna may have been worried about the way her swimsuit fit, but when thinking of Jenna, the other characters mentioned  her confidence, her perkiness, and her genuine nature. I loved this!  When there's a character that's not pencil thin,  a lot of books seem to focus on that all throughout the novel. Tangled does the exact opposite. I only noticed this recently, but I truly appreciate it.
The characters all share their stories well, so the novel left me really satisfied. While the characters left holes in their respective stories due to information they didn't know, Mackler made sure all questions were answered, and weaved it wonderfully. This was overall, one of my best reads of the summer. I definitely recommend. 
My Ratings:
Plot: A
A myriad of  stories that pulled together beautifully
Being told from all four characters, you're able to see the characters from four different angles. 
Cover Art: B
I loved it before, but it's not my favorite after reading it. Part of me wishes their were four hearts, or that the two hearts had multiple colors. I do love that the two tangled hearts connect, though.
Length: A
I wanted it to keep going! However, it ended as it should- tangled, but beautifully so.
A complete novel told by 4 completely different characters, this novel wholeheartedly deserves:
Five Stars!

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