Debut novel by Rachele Pine
Publisher: Medallion Press
Young Adult Contemporary
Release: August 1, 2013
Canary is told in a mix of prose and verse.
Staying quiet will destroy her, but speaking up will destroy everyone.
Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete.
But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. Although she knows she should speak out, her dad’s vehemently against it and so, like a canary sent into a mine to test toxicity levels and protect miners, Kate alone breathes the poisonous secrets to protect her dad and the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.
About the Author
Rachele Alpine is a lover of sushi, fake mustaches, and Michael Jackson. One of her first jobs was at a library, but it didn’t last long, because all she did was hide in the third-floor stacks and read. Now she’s a little more careful about when and where she indulges her reading habit. By day she’s a high school English teacher, and by night she writes with the companionship of the world’s cutest dog, Radley, a big cup of coffee, and a full bag of gummy peaches. Rachele lives with her husband in Cleveland, Ohio, but dreams of moving back to Boston, the city she fell in love with while attending graduate school there.
Canary is an all too real book about the sense of entitlement and elite status that is often afforded to sports and the players involved. It’s a book about courage and speaking up even when you know the consequences will be huge. But the consequences will also help to prevent some things from happening again in the future (hopefully).
The main character, Kate, is the new student at Beacon High and the head coach’s daughter. She is welcomed to the new school with open arms from players and classmates simply because of who she is and what they think they can get as a result of being her friend or boyfriend. Kate loses part of herself to fit in with the “in” crowd. She even goes so far to alienate her brother. Her dad is so wrapped up in the team that he completely disappears from his kid’s lives. It is heart breaking to see their family unit fall apart because of basketball and the need to fit in with the image at Beacon.
This book shows so many aspects of navigating the cruel world as a young adult. From bullying, to peer pressure, to unloving home lives, to fitting in, to compromising basic values. Most importantly, it covers a serious topic with date rape drugs and assault. I hope this book gives young women the courage to speak up if this should ever happen to them.
I received an ARC for an honest review.