Misplacedparisian's Reviews > Target

Target by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson
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Feb 01, 12

bookshelves: read-young-adult-novels
Read on February 01, 2012


The story is of Grady, a 16 year old who gets assaulted one night, on his way back from a concert. At 6 feet and some inches tall, he wonders why him. How did they choose him? Reassessing his life and his encounters until what he calls the "after" he tries to figure out why these two men targeted him.

Part of me LOVED this book, and part of me was utterly annoyed. I could sympathize with the broken Grady, laugh at the wit of Jess (a black kid with a sharp, sometimes cutting sense of humor), and identify a bit with Pearl (though my weight was never my concern, nor was I ever that shy, but I reached out to people who seemed to stand on their own). I loved the characters.

I was annoyed with the repetition. How many times did we need to be told of Gwendolyn's hair color (as if it played a role in her pestilence)? Grade's repeated obsession with surfaces was never explained either. Did it help him feel grounded, real, part of something? No details on that, unless I read too fast and skipped over it. Also, the author was a bit raw with the details of Grady's rape. There must be another way to make us feel his pain or understand what he went through with a bit more tact. I actually tend to emotionally detach myself when things become too explicit and therefore I miss the point that is supposed to come across.

There're also Grady's friends from "Before" who lost track of him and are deeply affected by his detachment when they bumped into him. See, Grady barely talks (which is another side the author could have explained better: why did he shut down speech-wise, why he can't keep food in, etc.)

I love how they teamed up to help him though. That was the most beautiful part. They reached in, wherever he was and pulled him out despite all the circumstances that could've torn them apart.

Consider a half a star added (goodreads should work on that.)
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