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4.38  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Fifteen-and-a-half-year-old Sandee Mason wants to find her talent, get her driver's license, and stop living in the shadow of her big brother, Bri, who disappeared while serving in Afghanistan.

Talent is a timely story about a girl who learns her brother is MIA in Afghanistan. What does she do? How does she cope while trying to be part of the drama department and attempting
Paperback, 284 pages
Published November 1st 2015 by Eternal Press
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Noonecansinkmyship I found a few talents! Baking is one of them and I am always on the look out for others.
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Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  42 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Literary Soirée
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teens-and-ya
Oh how my heart tugged as I read this compelling story of Sandee, an angsty teen who struggles with the aftermath of brother Bri’s disappearance fighting in Afghanistan. Her parents are shattered and she is too as she seeks something to give her hope and recognition: A role in her school’s play. The author’s assured style makes Sandee’s life so real that we fall headlong in until the last page, cheering her along, touched by her courage and compassion, wishing for good news of Bri. I read it in ...more
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel hits the mark for YA fantasy genre fans. Well written and great detail as the characters come to life !
Story Circle Book Reviews
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Many of us who caught the theatre bug caught it early. I was one so infected, performing in all my high school and community youth theatre productions. I can attest that even among the drama geeks who share the love of the bright lights and the thrill of performing live, cliques and clashes still exist. B. Lynn Goodwin, who clearly has greasepaint running through her veins, reveals what goes on backstage and under the footlights of a high school drama production in her new book Talent.

Suzanna Williams
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found it hard to write this review and tell you all I liked about this book without giving away spoilers. (Don’t worry, I won’t give anything away)

Talent is a thought-provoking read about a girl struggling with the usual teenage problems (school, boyfriends, trying to find her own identity) but with the added problem that her older brother is missing in service in Afghanistan. Ms Goodwin creates a wonderful cast of characters who are all affected by this disappearance and I totally believed th
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: author-requests
Talent is an emotional and sensitive story of loss, coming to terms with loss and your position and feeling within the family unit. The storyline centres around a group of drama students putting on a professional style show of 'Oklahoma'. We run through the whole of the production from the auditions in which our protagonist, Sandee, flunks, through to the opening night on which Sandee is our hero and saves the day.

Sandee's brother, Brian, went to the same high school as her and has a circle of f
Alfred  Garrotto
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sandee Mason wants to find her talent, get her driver's license, and stop living in the shadow of her big brother. That’s a lot for an adult to handle. For this fifteen-and-half-year-old, it’s nearly overwhelming. But handle it Sandee does, in her own way and despite a number of detours that threaten to send her careening off the road to adulthood. Against the backdrop of a high school production of Oklahoma!, she makes her way through a morass of trauma—a beloved older brother, Brian, who disap ...more
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
*I was asked to read and review this book by the author. This in no way affected my rating or review of this book*

Talent is one of those stories that can move you. It was emotionally driven by the main character in the book, Sandee.

Sandee is a very strong willed and relatable teenager who is trying to cope with hearing that her brother has gone missing from Afghanistan. But along with this she is coping with all the norms and pressures that all teenage girls go through, fitting in, and most imp
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I just finished reading Talent by Lynn Goodwin. My eyes are still moist from crying. Ms. Goodwin has created a memorable character in her heroine, Sandee Mason. Sandee’s exploits made me cry with laughter, joy and empathy. I teach high school five days a week, but reading Talent brought me back to feelings I had when I was a high school student. Sandee experiences teenage angst and feelings of loss and frustration universal to the human experience. I tell my students that teenagers make mistakes ...more
Kathleen Rodgers
Hours after finishing Talent, I still have an ache in my throat.

Once author B. Lynn Goodwin hooked me with the line, “Bri went missing in Afghanistan seven months ago,” I knew I had to keep reading because I had to know what happened. In this coming-of-age tale about high school sophomore Sandee Mason, who longs to make her mark in San Ramos High’s spring production of Oklahoma!, we learn that a sister can ache for a big brother who’s missing in war while at the same time yearn to get out from
Ann McCauley
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author’s insight into the thought processes of teenagers is evident throughout 'Talent'. Wit and stark honesty make Talent an incredibly gripping novel. Complicated layered characters and compelling plot twists maintains the reader’s interest. I wanted to know what would happen, but I didn’t want the book to end. I want to know what happened after the story ended.I hope this is the introductory novel of a Coming of Age series about Sandee.
Her resolute courage made her my new hero in much the
Cinda Brooks
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Lynn Goodwin ushers the reader into the mind, emotions, and language of a teenager in her book Talent. Sandee Mason, 15 years old, works in her school’s production of Oklahoma, where there is a script as she struggles in real life without a script--bringing life to the subtitle “Real live doesn’t have a script.” The author is a master at using dialogue to bring the reader into a teenage girl’s world as she grapples with the death of her brother along with the more ordinary struggles of ma ...more
“This is the day that could change my life.”

From that very first sentence of Talent by B. Lynn Goodwin, I was hooked. The main character, Sandee Mason, a soon to-be sixteen year old girl is the perfect combination of teenage angst, humor, and seriousness. The book captures those capricious teen years when each day catapults you to the top or plunges you to the bottom.

Sandee tries out for the school play and doesn’t get a part. She becomes assistant stage manager. How humiliating when her frien
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Hoping for a book centered on a girl coping with her brother who has gone missing in Afghanistan, what I ended up with was an overly dramatic YA novel. The storyline of Sandee dealing with her boy troubles and supposed desires to be on the stage felt more distracting than the story I wanted to read. Those that were looking for a YA with all the school based teenage angst will enjoy the book. Those that won't be offended by the moralistic lecture mid-book regarding addiction and sugar, will find ...more
Devorah Friedlander
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020reviews
First sentence: THIS IS THE DAY that could change my life. I’ve been living in the shadow of my big brother, Brian Mason, all of my life, but in five more minutes, I’m going to audition for San Ramos High’s spring production of Oklahoma! I’m reading for Ado Annie, who sings and dances and flirts, but if I don’t get it, maybe I can play Gertie or Ellen or somebody else with lines.

Premise/plot: Sandee Mason stars in Talent a coming of age YA novel written by B. Lynn Goodwin. Sandee is in an in-be
Dev Friedlander
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sweet, gripping and a bit heartbreaking. Helped me understand better the struggles that military families go through.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Talent was a great young adult read. During reading this book I cried , laughed and was in awe at just how realistic these characters were, I also enjoyed the setting since I often take Bart to San Francisco I felt at home reading this. I think everyone can find something they enjoy about this book either going back to high school, Or how you know your not alone .Now I just hope it either gets a movie or some sort of sequel.
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: Talent
Author: B. Lynn Goodwin
Publisher: Koehler Books
ISBN: 9781646630165
Buy Link:
Reviewer: Teresa Fallen Angel
Sandee Mason is convinced her life will change if she can just win applause for her talents—whatever they may be. She can’t wait to accomplish something after living in the shadow of her big brother, Bri, who disappeared in Afghanistan months earlier, leaving Sandee craving the same attention the whole town is giving him even as she
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of Sandee is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. She's a high schooler coming into her own as a member of the drama team. As she learns what all she can do as the prop manager, and various other duties, she is struggling to come to terms with her older brother's disappearance in Afghanistan. She is the typical, insecure teen, who isn't sure what to think about her best friend Diego, boy next door/possible boyfriend. And then there's her brother Bri's best friend Rob, who i ...more
denise kay jacobs
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The coming-of-age story is fast-paced and full of interesting twists.

Ms. Goodwin knows her way around a drama club. The book should appeal to a wide-range of students, as it deals with navigating loss, family relationships, and school dynamics as well as living up to expectations and arriving at our own conclusions. It also includes a cast of realistic characters.

If you choose TALENT for your own classroom, you will appreciate the review questions at the end of the book.
J.D. DeHart
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Talent is a text worth sharing with young adults (and us adults who enjoy YA fiction, as well). Digital applause to author B. Lynn Goodwin for a strong character-centered book that rings true.
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an emotional story. It drags you through the gamut, that's for sure. This was a great story for young adults. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book in exchange for a free copy. ...more
Ffion Ponting
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heartbreakingly beautiful book. So raw and so emotional. This book deals with sensitive topics like grieving brilliantly, and weaves them into the storyline perfectly. An easy and enjoyable read that will touch you from page one.
Susan Cushman
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't believe it when I read Goodwin's young adult book about high school life, trying out for school musicals, and having a brother in Afghanistan. Had she been looking into my past? Yes, I had an older brother who joined the Marines. And because he was playing the lead in our high school's production of "Our Town," I got the part of his younger sister. Goodwin captured all the feels from those years and more. Teenage angst is universal. A fun read. ...more
Renee Roberson
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My curiosity about the book Talent was piqued as soon as I read the press materials from the WOW! Women on Writing blog tour. First off, contemporary young adult novels are one of my favorite genres to read. Second, I participated in musicals during my high school years and loved the idea of the stage as a main setting.

Talent hooks the reader from the opening pages, as fifteen-year-old Sandee Mason anxiously awaits her audition for her school’s production of Oklahoma! (I loved this part--I was i
Mary Jo Doig
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Sandee Mason struggles, as do all her peers, with her own set of teenage anxieties, except that she has an extra huge worry: her big brother, Brian, is missing in action in Afghanistan. Bri, as she calls him, has been MIA for seven months when the story opens. The emotional upheaval of the situation has caused her parents so much angst, they have become largely unavailable to support Sandee. Without her always-reliable big brother to seek advice from, Sandee tries hard to cope on her own.
She i
Just Commonly
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Talent by B.Lynn Goodwin was not what I'd expected from looking at the cover. True, we can derive that it's a young adult novel, and with the title of Talent and glimmering lights behind red velvety curtains, it's about stage talent. But after reading on, there's a certain level of emotional growth that will appeal to a sophisticated audience.

We have the typical teenage drama going on, from getting your driver's license to boys and fitting in. Our main character, Sandee have wanted to dive into
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Talent by B. Lynn Goodwin is a cute romantic coming of age about serious issues.

Summery From Goodreads:
Fifteen-and-a-half-year-old Sandee Mason wants to find her talent, get her driver's license, and stop living in the shadow of her big brother, Bri, who disappeared while serving in Afghanistan.

Talent is a timely story about a girl who learns her brother is MIA in Afghanistan. What does she do? How does she cope while trying to be part of the drama department and attempting to live normally? Lyn
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from the author B. Lynn Goodwin for an honest review.

Wow. If you haven't read this book you need It was amazing. I don't give out many 5 star reviews but I feel this one deserved it.

I fell in love with Sandee from the first page of this book and was so hooked I gobbled up her story in less than 7 hours. I couldn't put the story down.

Sandee is a high-school student in love with theatre. She has all the insecurities that most of us had going through high s
Marlene Cullen
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
In Talent by B. Lynn Goodwin, readers travel with the heroine from home to school to the high school drama department, and around the Bay Area in search of herself as well as unravel mysteries that plague her. She struggles with navigating life without her older brother to guide her. Goodwin clearly understands the grief process, relationships and behind-the-scenes details of producing a play. Intriguing characters round out this coming of age novel.
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Writer and editor B. Lynn Goodwin owns Writer Advice, She’s the author of a YA, Talent, which was short-listed for a Literary Lightbox Award and won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist for a Sarton Women’s Book Award, and Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62, which won a 2018 National Indie Excellence Award Winner, Human Relations In ...more

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