Caron High News by Annabelle Jay

Caron High News by Annabelle Jay

Caron High News by Annabelle Jay
Publisher: Prizm Books/ Torquere Press
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Caron High News begins on the day of the first GSA, or Gay-Straight Alliance, meeting at Nissa Falenbach’s school. The club was started by Principal Perry to give Nissa a community after the school’s first hate crime that past summer, but unfortunately, no one shows up. As Nissa leaves the school she sees Bethany, her former best friend and now popular girl, crying in the middle of the quad because she was just dumped by her boyfriend, Lenny, for not being sexually adventurous. The two agree on mutually advantageous terms: they will pretend to date until Lenny wants Bethany back, and in return, Bethany will draw ten new GSA members into their group. The novel is a split narrative between Nissa and Audrey, the school gossip newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, who creates scandals that both help Nissa’s cause and, in the end, reveal her true motives. But neither Nissa nor Audrey could have predicted what happens at the Holiday Assembly after Audrey plays a recording of Nissa and Bethany’s bathroom confession.

A little white lie never hurt anyone, right?

The dialogue made me smile. It was often funny and clever, especially when Audrey was involved in the conversation. What I liked the most about it, though, was that every single main character had her own unique voice. I could often tell who was speaking before the text announced it simply based on word choice alone. It was fun to recognize these characters so quickly.

This story had two narrators. While the transitions between their perspectives were smooth, I would have preferred to experience what was happening in the plot from only one point of view. It took a while for me to get to know the second narrator, and that adjustment was sometimes a source of distraction for me from what was otherwise an engaging tale. There simply wasn’t enough time for me to get to know both of the narrators well given the short length of this piece.

It was fascinating to see how Nissa changed from the beginning of this book to the end of it. I spotted the first few glimpses of her character development early on, but I continued to see more and more changes in her as the plot progressed and I got to know her even better. Writing it this way was a good choice because it matched Nissa’s spunky personality so well. This is exactly how I would have expected to her behave!

I’d recommend Caron High News to anyone in the mood for something lighthearted.

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