CHARMED is one of the Orca Soundings line of books for reluctant teen readers. It sounds like an interesting enough story: Izzy finds herself caught in the sex trade after her mother leaves home and her mother’s boyfriend leaves Izzy to fend for herself. Definitely a heavy topic, but it sounds like something that might catch the attention of a reluctant reader, doesn’t it? It’s not very long, either–a very quick read.
It definitely has the ability to grab the reader. And, as it’s short, it kept my attention. However, I don’t think that Carrie Mac did a very good job of writing a book geared toward reluctant readers. The writing wasn’t particularly good, and important plot points were really rushed through. If you write a good enough book to keep someone’s attention, reluctant reader or not, it can afford to be longer and go into more detail about what’s going on! Nothing–not the plot, not the various characters, nothing–felt like it was explored to the extent it should have been. In an effort to keep the book short, it feels like it was cut down so much that it doesn’t live up to its potential at all. Just because a book has to be short doesn’t mean it can’t be good. In fact, I just read a book, AN ORDER OF AMELIE, HOLD THE FRIES (review soon!), that, I believe, was even shorter than CHARMED–but oh so much better. Reluctant readers are reluctant because they have to read not-so-good books in school, a lot of the time, and the way to make them love reading is to give them wonderful books to read–not short, not so good ones! Hopefully the other Orca Soundings books on my to-read stack will be better.