Jan's Reviews > Tangled

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler
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Jan 12, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: teenbooks

Summary: Four teens visit Paradise, a resort in the Caribbean, and their lives become tangled together after they meet. Jena is a shy girl hungry for romance, Skye is a sophisticated model and aspiring actress, Dakota is a handsome and popular screw-up who acts like he’s God’s gift to women, and Owen is his sensitive brother who lives through his online blog. As their lives intersect, they learn to look beyond their superficial impressions of each other and discover that each is much more complicated that the other imagined. Not only that, they are also more alike than they know, despite the fact that they seem to all live in completely different worlds.

Plot/Setting: The paradise resort setting provides a nice ironic contrast to the troubles that each teen carries around with them. The story is told by each character chronologically, beginning in April, with Jena’s story and ending in July, with Owen’s story. The use of chronology, with each story told in succeeding months, highlights the development and growth of the characters. This is a character driven novel and the plot serves to develop each character.

Characters: I enjoyed the contrast between these characters, who on the surface are seemingly worlds apart. This book is a coming of age, self discovery novel and as one might imagine, the sophisticated Skye, who seems to have everything, is in fact racked with insecurity. Jena, who on the surface is the insecure one, learns to be more confident even after a disastrous romantic encounter with Dakota. The other characters are “flipped” in similar fashion. I found that to be somewhat predictable, although enjoyable.

Style: Separating the novel into the different “stories” of each character is an effective way of comparing and contrasting them. The writing has a good pace, without an excess of exposition. This is a serviceable novel that really does not do anything spectacular, but is enjoyable to read.
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