Forte by J.D. Spero
Johannah Davies (JD) Spero was born near a pristine lake in the Adirondacks and has lived in various cities such as St. Petersburg (Russia), Indianapolis, Dallas, and Boston. She has pursued her love of narrative through degrees in English, Russian, and teaching—and has worked as an actress, a yoga instructor, a web design entrepreneur, freelance writer, and a high school English teacher. She lives in the Northeast with her husband and three young sons.
Drawing on her experience as a high school teacher—this time with a social concern, Spero infuses the rites of passage for the teenager—cliques, first kisses, peer pressure, and bullying—with magic. This stresses how tenuous and critical this time is for young people in a new, fascinating way. Written from Sami’s point of view, Spero’s narrative puts the reader into the mind of a fifteen-year-old who must navigate the tumultuous waters of being the new girl—the underdog who starts to win and is intoxicated by it. Truly a page-turner, this action-packed story will have readers of all ages eager to see what happens next.
Spero’s debut novel, Catcher’s Keeper, was chosen as a Finalist in the 2014 Indie Excellence Book Awards contest and also made the top 5% out of 10,000 entries in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
J.D. (Johannah Davis) Spero has written an entertaining urban fantasy story that teens will love. This story brings to light real-life challenges teens have. Some of these include choosing who their real friends are and where they will fit in, whether it is in the band, the theater, or a sport, such as volleyball in the story. It also shows the conflict between Sami and her mother, even as her mother supports her, something every teen goes through. Teens will easily relate to the characters in this book as they face their own personal challenges in middle school and high school. This story also brings in a twist of urban legends adding more dynamic to this thrilling and amusing novel. I would recommend this novel to any teen looking for a fun, relatable read.
Note: There are few swear words in the novel, but they are not excessive.
Genre: urban fantasy
Publisher: Xchyler Publishing
Publication date: July 25, 2015
Number of pages: 253
Grade level: 7+
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