Kevin Berry's Reviews > You Can't Shatter Me

You Can't Shatter Me by Tahlia Newland
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's review
May 07, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: friends-books, speculative-fiction
Read in June, 2012

This short YA novel deals with a serious subject (bullying amongst high-school kids) and is imaginatively told from the perspectives of the two main characters, Carly and Dylan, with a unique blend of realism and fantastic elements which add to the overall power and imagery of the story. The reader is quickly pulled into the inner world of these two teenagers as they interfere with the activities of the school bully, Justin, only to become targeted by him themselves. But there is a far greater depth to the story than the tension provided by these encounters. Carly and Dylan must each face their own motivations, self-doubts and impulses, as well as the external threats, which appear to them as imaginary beasts or objects, while they themselves become knights or superheroes as they become conscious of 'writing their own script' of their lives and behavior. There is also a romance blossoming sweetly between them, starkly contrasted by the jibes of the bully Justin.

I enjoyed this book for the imaginative and evocative way the story was told, and felt pulled along with the inner struggles of the main characters, Carly, who was finding her inner strength and trying to help others, and Dylan, a black-belt karate expert who felt he had to protect Carly but knew that violence was not the best option.

Ultimately this is a story about understanding, kindness and compassion, uniquely told with surreal fantasy elements, and is both entertaining and thought-provoking for young adult readers. I'd like to read more from Tahlia.
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05/07 marked as: read

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