Worthy My Rating:
Published by: Point on March 28th, 2017
Genres: Cliffhanger Free, Contemporary, HEA, Romance, Social Issues, Tween, Young Adult
Everyone at Linden's high school is obsessed with Worthy. It's this new app that posts pictures of couples, and asks: Is the girl worthy of the guy?
Suddenly, relationships implode as the votes climb and the comments get real ugly real fast.
At first, Linden is focused on other things. Like cute Alex Rivera. Prom committee. Her writing. But soon she's intrigued by Worthy. Who's posting the pictures? Who's voting? And what will happen when the spotlight turns... on Linden?
Worthy by Donna Cooner has so many layers that it’s hard for me to gather my thoughts to write a cohesive review. I picked up Worthy on a whim. The jacket cover sounded fun and different and I thought I’d give it a try. I’m not exactly sure what I expected, but I know I didn’t expect what I got, which was an awesome story with an even better message.
Everyone at Linden’s high school is obsessed with Worthy. It’s this new app that posts pictures of couples, and asks: Is the girl worthy of the guy?
First, it’s a young adult romance. It’s sweet and clean and will give you all the feels you want from a teen romance. Linden and Alex are just beginning their relationship and everything is exciting and new. That time when butterflies live permanently in your stomach and you find yourself smiling just thinking about the other person. But then the Worthy app hits their high school and turns everything (for everyone) upside down.
Download the app. Be the judge.
Second, it’s a story about learning to love yourself despite what others think or say about you. It’s a hard thing to do. Something that people work at throughout life, not just in the crucial teen years. Linden struggles with this in the book, but so do other (if not all) characters. In fact, Linden was surprised to learn that friends she believed were immune to what others thought about them struggled just as much as she did. The book delivers a powerful message to teens without preaching at them. The author tells the reader that they are special despite what others think or say, and she does it in a gentle, almost covert way. In other words, there’s no lecturing here. Just a great story with a great message.
Finally, the story touches on online bullying and how easily it is to get sucked into doing something anonymously that you wouldn’t do otherwise, something Linden learns first hand through Worthy—not once, but twice.
Linden Wilson and Alex Rivera
Is She WORTHY?
The vote is in…
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when we post a comment or blog post or tweet that real people read them. We say things we’d never say to their face because we’re sitting behind a computer screen or phone and have the buffer of anonymity. If our tech was stripped away, and we had to look into the eyes of the person our post is about, would we still make the same comment? Vote the same way? Make that tweet? That’s what Linden struggles with and it’s a relevant and timely issue for everyone in our society, not just teens. And Cooner handles the subject nicely, pointing out how hurtful online comments can be without lecturing.
The protagonist, Linden, is a wonderful character. She’s very relatable. She has insecurities and flaws like anyone, but she is likable and an easy character to root for. Her character was well written and multi-layered. Alex, Linden’s love interest, was a nice guy, and I really liked that about him. He wasn’t a “bad boy” that Linden needed to tame. He didn’t come with a trunk full of baggage (well, no more than the rest of us). He was just a really nice guy who was respectful of Linden and loved and respected his family. It was refreshing to see. I liked his character a lot.
Secondary characters were peppered throughout the story. They each had a purpose and weren’t merely cardboard cutouts to fill space. Some played bigger roles than others, but all were needed to tell the story. I liked that Linden and Alex’s families were present. Each had a different dynamic, but both were an important part of the character’s life. Even Linden’s best friend Nikki’s family made an appearance. With so many YA books parents are rarely discussed and seldom seen, so it was a nice change.
The mechanics were on point. The pacing was great. The copy was free from errors. The author’s writing is easy and enjoyable to read. I quite liked it. The dialogue sounded like teens talking, not like an adult mimicking teens. If I had to give a con I would say that parts of the book were slightly predictable View Spoiler »Linden’s big promposal to Alex. It was clear that he’d say no. Even though it hadn’t been said, it was easy to guess that his sister’s quinceanera was on the same night as prom. « Hide Spoiler. But despite that, the story was fresh and unique. There are so many layers and small details that make this story incredibly good that I could keep writing for pages.
Bottom line: The vote is in and Cooner’s book is: WORTHY… of your time, that is. It’s different and fun and has a great message for girls of all ages. And if you’re a parent of a younger teen, you can feel comfortable letting her read Worthy. It’s sweet and clean. It’s absolutely something I’ll let my twin “tween-aged” daughters read! And as for future books of Ms. Cooner? Sign me up. I won’t hesitate to pick up another book authored by her.
I highly recommend Worthy. One of my top three favorites of 2017 so far!