Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review: Shredded - Karen Avivi

Horse of Wind and Shadows
Karen Avivi
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Not extraordinary
On Goodreads

Hey hey friends, long time no see. Shredded, although not my favorite book to ever exist, was actually pretty interesting, and something I would definitely recommend picking up for a fast read. While Avivi does not present anything too extraordinary in the novel, her writing and plot both combine to produce a story worthy of recommending to you guys.

This book is about a summer road trip: but not exactly what one would expect from the words "road trip." Shredded presents the story of Josie, who is a hardcore BMX biker, and will do absolutely anything to qualify for the big freestyle competition. The reason I liked the book as much as I did was because of this character and her unwaverable ability to stay focused on her sport, despite any romantic complications, issues with family, or trials she may undergo. Avivi drops the reader straight into the world of BMX, and as a reader, I could actually feel the waves of competition and excitement rolling off the book (I'm competitive myself, can you tell?).

The other reason I liked the book so much was the author's dedication to feminism (I'm a feminist too, can you tell?). Karen Avivi makes a big splash with her insistence that men and women can do just about anything equally, including when teenage girls take on the sport of BMX biking. This is mostly shown in Josie, who firmly believes that femininity and emotional reactions are weak, and that she must appear to be strong in front of the boys that she is competing with. This kind of ideology is far too common, and I have to say a lot of the time I act the same way. It is marvelous to watch Josie overcome her struggles in this book.

The really unfortunate thing about this book, which brought it down from a 4.5 rating, is that the characters are mostly static and stereotypical: Josie, for example, gets her heart broken by a boy and then decides she wants to be the best at BMX. Otherwise, while some issues in the book (like familial and relationship problems) were a big stretch to actually present other conflicts in the novel, Shredded is pretty alright.

- Amrutha

Do you have something you're really committed to, like Josie and BMX?
Let us know in the comments!

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