Dallas Lalone: In Our Words, is a young adult novel about three girls, Ashley, Lauren, and Hannah, each learning to overcome their individual struggles. At the beginning of the book, Ashley is suffering from an injury that impedes her ability to participate in dancing, which is her passion. Lauren's parents are considering a divorce due to drama in the media about Lauren's father, a famous director, rumors of a presumable affair. Hannah is lacking confidence of her abilities and interests, and in turn is struggling to deal with bullying from her peers. The girls happen to meet over Thanksgiving break, when, upon meeting, Hannah introduces Ashley and Lauren to videos of her favorite YouTuber, Dallas Lalone. Throughout the rest of the book , through their friendship and shared interest in Dallas, the girls learn to cope with their circumstances.
It is amazing that this book encourages girls to look to their friends for support rather than do what so many teens are pressured to do- put out a false image of themselves in order to gain validation from others. Young girls need to know that the best way to have an enjoyable and satisfying middle and high school years is to stop stifling their real selves and spend time with people who don't force them to hide.
The novel is written in a simple style, almost like short journal entries from each of our protagonists. While each girl has individual quirks and interests, their voice in writing is almost uniform, which might be something to look at. For interest, in Let's Face It, Kaylin was intelligent and witty, so both characteristics clearly came across from her as the speaker of the book. It might have added to the personalities and relatability of the girls if they had each written a bit differently.
I found this book to be a simple, positive read, likely geared towards younger girls who have anxieties about putting themselves out there and embracing their unique talents, even those they didn't know they had. I am grateful for the opportunity to read this book and will likely pass it along to my younger cousin in a few years....more