Fifteen-year-old Polarity Weeks just wants to live a normal life, but with a mother diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, that’s rarely easy. Her life gets exponentially more disastrous when her sixth-period history classmates start ogling a nude picture of her on the Internet. Polarity would never have struck such a shameless pose, but the photo is definitely of her, and she’s at a complete loss to explain its existence. Child Protective Services yanks her from her home, suspecting her parents. The kids at school mock her, assuming she took it herself. And Ethan, the boy she was really starting to like, backpedals and joins the taunting chorus. Surrounded by disbelief and derision on all sides, Polarity desperately seeks the truth among her friends. Only then does she learn that everyone has dark secrets, and no one’s life is anywhere near normal.
Polarity in Motionby Brenda Vicars
Brenda Vicars shows tremendous insight and sensitivity in this compelling story about sexting and cyber bullying, which is so convincing that the readers suspect she must have experience with the issue. Polarity is a well-developed character, and the plot line is unique.
As if one challenge wasn't enough, Vicars' protagonist deals with mental illness in her family as well. Again, the issue is dealt with in a sensitive way, highlighting all the collateral damage that occurs when a family member is unwell without descending into sensationalism or becoming maudlin. Readers gain valuable insights without feeling they've been preached to, and the story doesn't suffer.
Polarity is a kind, good girl, which grounds her as well as the reader while a storm of challenges rages around her. She comes through a difficult time gracefully, if not completely unscathed. Readers will relate to Polarity and be encouraged and inspired by her bravery. A little romance doesn't hurt either!
Profanity/Language: 2 religious exclamations; 1 mild obscenity; 3 anatomical terms; 3 derogatory names.
Violence/Gore: An adult grabs a child and shakes her in anger.
Sex/Nudity: A naked photo is posted online without a character's knowledge or consent; a character has thoughts about attraction to another character several times; a character has thoughts about wanting to touch another character several times (non-erotic); a character wonders if another character is thinking about her breasts; a male character mimes female breasts; a suggestive text message is received; characters flirt several times; characters sit with arms around one another; characters hold hands; characters sit with legs touching; a character rubs her foot up and down another character's ankle; characters embrace briefly; a character touches another character's face; characters kiss passionately; characters kiss briefly.
Mature Subject Matter:
Racism, cyberbullying, bullying, verbal abuse, mental illness, teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, alcoholism, sexting.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Marijuana is commonly used by underage characters (not main characters); a character enters a bar but does not drink.
Reviewed By Leslie