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Canary [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this debut novel, a high school girl tries to understand the world, figure out where she fits in, and learn how to stand up for herself when everything falls apart. With the passing of her mother, Kate Franklin’s life unravels at the seams as she loses the only emotional mooring in her family. Her dad shuts down completely, and her brother enlists in the army. Things start looking better when her dad is hired to coach at Beacon Prep, home of one of the best basketball teams in the state. In a blog of prose and...
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Canary

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Overview

In this debut novel, a high school girl tries to understand the world, figure out where she fits in, and learn how to stand up for herself when everything falls apart. With the passing of her mother, Kate Franklin’s life unravels at the seams as she loses the only emotional mooring in her family. Her dad shuts down completely, and her brother enlists in the army. Things start looking better when her dad is hired to coach at Beacon Prep, home of one of the best basketball teams in the state. In a blog of prose and poetry, Kate chronicles her new world—dating a basketball player, being caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, and discovering the perks the inner circle enjoys. Then Kate’s fragile life shatters once again when one of her boyfriend’s teammates assaults her 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 once welcoming community has betrayed Kate, her family is disintegrating, and she’s on her own to grapple with whether to stay quiet or speak out and expose a town’s hero and destroy her father’s career.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a captivating tale that addresses a lot of contemporary issues in a sensitive and thought-provoking way." —Nicki J. Markus, author, Day-Walker and Time Keepers

"A searing and tender portrait of the complexities of high school friendships, dating and privilege. Canary is a testament to the power of the hard-won truths." —Daisy Whitney, author, The Mockingbirds and When You Were Here

"Rachele Alpine's Canary sings the truth about what happens when we put our high school heroes on a pedestal and give them the power to act like villains." —Erin Jade Lange, author, Butter

"The subtle way Rachele Alpine addresses love, loss, popularity, and friendship makes this book a realistic and arresting read. For anyone who ever struggled with frenemies and fitting in, Canary is an important addition to contemporary YA discussions." —Jennifer Brown, author, Hate List

"Alpine's Canary is a deeply-felt, poignant account of someone trying to find strength in a world that has hurled its worst at her. Alpine has created a compelling narrator in Kate and the challenges she must face are both realistic and heartbreaking." —Colleen Clayton, author, What Happens Next

"I also admire how the subtexts of family, of privilege and how it is exploited, of bullying, and the sexual vulnerability of many girls are presented. . . . It is a powerful story that evokes intense emotions. . . . Grab a copy of Canary."  —Jhobell Kristyl, Book Maven

"I also admire how the subtexts of family, of privilege and how it is exploited, of bullying, and the sexual vulnerability of many girls are presented. . . . It is a powerful story that evokes intense emotions. . . . I encourage you to grab a copy of Canary. . . ." —Jhobell Kristyl, Book Maven

“Sometimes I feel like I need a lot of words to describe a story and convince people to read it. This time I’m not going to. Canary is so much better than that. I need not convince you anymore.” —Open Book Society

VOYA - Jan Chapman
Kate is a high school student who has had more than her fair share of loss. Her mother recently died of cancer, and her father, a basketball coach for Beacon, an elite private school, wants Kate and her brother to switch from their public school to Beacon. Kate's brother, Brent, is adamantly opposed to the change, but Kate is willing to give it a go. At Beacon, she quickly makes friends with the popular crowd and finds a boyfriend on the basketball team. But when Kate is assaulted by a member of the basketball team, her decision to speak out will test the limits of her friendships and even her relationship with her father. This is a contemporary novel that will resonate with many teens and is especially topical considering a recent high-profile case of rape involving high school football players. Along with Kate, the reader experiences her gradual and horrified realization of the school's complicity in covering up the abuses that have gone unchallenged for years. Readers share her despair at her father's unwillingness to go public and her outrage at what has happened in the past and is continuing to happen. Becoming a whistleblower does not come easily to her, as she just wants to fit in. Many teens will identify with her struggle, and many will see their own high school environment, particularly in respect to the adulation of athletes, mirrored in this compelling story. Teens will also like the format of the novel, told in blog posts and verse reminiscent of Ellen Hopkins's popular "problem" novels. Reviewer: Jan Chapman
School Library Journal
10/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—When her father gets a job as the basketball coach at an exclusive private school, Kate sees the included tuition as a chance to escape her old school and the sympathetic glances of classmates and teachers who are aware of her mother's death. At Beacon, basketball is everything and the players are treated as gods; their shortcomings are overlooked, and their cheating condoned. Kate, as daughter of the coach, is granted ingress to the popular group and becomes one of the satellites orbiting around them. When she begins dating a team member, her life becomes absorbed by practices, games, and parties. She realizes that the boys expect favors-and that most of the girls are willing to do whatever it takes to be the girlfriend of a player. One of the seniors hooks up with every girl he can, usually a different one at every party. Kate thinks, as Jack's girlfriend, that she is safe, but she finds out she's not when Luke slips something into her drink and then tries to rape her. When Jack doesn't believe her about what happened, she starts separating herself from her former friends, but after a topless picture of her starts circulating she decides to fight back, making her private blog public after her father does nothing that will endanger his players. It's unfortunate that so little discussion is devoted to the aftermath, especially regarding the reaction of peers and the administration. Not dealing with the fallout seems like a dodge. Still, this novel delivers an indictment of athletic privilege and warns of the dangers of the rampant use of alcohol by teens, as well as casual sex.—Suanne B. Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
Kirkus Reviews
In an engrossing, carefully unfolding drama, sophomore Kate Franklin adjusts to a new school, a powerful set of friends and a family that is falling apart. After their mother's death two years earlier, Kate and Brett's father threw himself into his work. Now hired to coach the basketball team at an elite prep school, he decrees that his children will transfer to Beacon from their public high school. Kate falls in easily with the popular crowd, helped, perhaps, by their interest in her father's prestigious position. Despite her enthusiasm about her new friends and boyfriend, Jack, readers can see her discomfort when Jack cheats off her homework or pressures her for sex and when her friends bully and insult her brother. When Brett announces his decision to enlist in the Army, Kate is devastated, but the popular crowd has no patience for her becoming sad and withdrawn. The incidents that lead to Kate's friends turning on her, including a sexual assault, are realistically and painfully drawn. Chapters begin with poems and essays of varying quality, although as Kate never talks about writing in her narration, the revelation late in the book that these pieces come from her own private blog is somewhat unconvincing. Overall, a sophisticated, evocative portrait of a teen girl finding her place among peers and family. (Fiction. 14-18)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605426143
  • Publisher: Medallion Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 792,169
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Rachele Alpine is a high school English teacher and blogs at www.freckle-head.blogspot.com. She lives in Mentor, Ohio.

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Read an Excerpt

Canary


By Rachele Alpine

Medallion Press, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Rachele Alpine
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60542-587-0


CHAPTER 1

www.allmytruths.com


Today's Truth: You can't count on anyone but yourself.

Your dad will leave you when you are twelve.

He won't empty his closet or pack up his car like you see dads do in old after-school specials.

He won't move in with a lover closer to your age than his, an exercise buff who wakes him at the crack of dawn for morning runs and wears short skirts and drinks martinis in bars while texting her girlfriends on her cell phone.

He won't spend his life alone and rent a room in a seedy motel.

He won't invite you and your brother to spend Christmas with him in the tiny, dingy space with a sad-looking, tinsel-covered tree in the corner on a rickety table over a stained carpet.

In fact, he won't leave the house.

He will stay right inside with you and your brother. You will eat dinners together, sit in the same room watching TV, have conversations about everyday matters like the weather and the dwindling supply of food in the fridge. You will do mundane things, such as passing each other in the hall as you head to and from the bathroom and riding in the car together when he takes you to school. Each day will blend into the next.

But from your life, he will be gone.

Posted By: Your Present Self [Sunday, August 11, 12:36 PM]

* * *

My brother, Dad, and I do the majority of our communicating using Post-its. Whoever invented them must make a fortune from the three of us alone.

I'll find them stuck to the bathroom mirror reminding me that Dad "Won't be home until late" or on the kitchen counter with "Money for groceries."

If Brett and I need something signed or want permission to go somewhere, we'll leave notes in places we know our dad will see: the door to the garage, his coffee pot, the bathroom mirror, or his computer screen.

It's worked for us since Mom died. There have been only a few mix-ups when Post-its have fallen off and blown under tables or when one of us broke the regular routine and didn't walk past the spot where the note waited to be read.

But for the most part, we're able to communicate without really communicating. And in my household, nothing says family love more than a day without having to talk to each other. Dad thinks it's brilliant. I think it sucks.

The last Monday of the summer, I woke surprised to find a note stuck to my bathing suit asking, "Meet for dinner at 6 at Garland's Pizza?" When Brett finally dragged himself out of bed two hours later, he confirmed that he'd received the same message stuck to the bathroom mirror.

Garland's Pizza was a little ten-table place the three of us loved. It was only two blocks from our house, a quick solution when there wasn't anything else to eat. These days we ordered from there a lot, but it was always takeout. I couldn't remember the last time we ate in the restaurant together. Dinner at home didn't usually involve conversation. Dad would read the paper while my brother and I fought over the television remote.

I was surprised Dad wanted to meet us there, but I wasn't going to question it. Dad hardly ever spent time with Brett and me anymore. I practically had to tackle him to stay in a room with me for more than five minutes. He always claimed to have important things to do for work—stuff that involved hiding in his office all night, every night.

I spotted Dad as soon as I walked into the place. Even though I'd sat around and done nothing the whole day, I was the last to arrive. He was in the crowded restaurant at a small table. My brother slouched next to him, no doubt angry at having one of the last days of vacation interrupted. He wore his fatigue pants even though it was boiling outside. Brett practically lived in those lame pants.

People were everywhere. Families eating at tables covered in cheesy pizzas. Kids running around with their greasy fingers. Older siblings playing video games against the back wall. Babies wailing along with the music blasting from a jukebox that seemed to play only old Billy Joel songs. The place was such a dive, but that's why people loved it.

I pushed through the crowd and bumped into chairs shoved around tables. It was a major fire hazard, but everyone seemed willing to take the risk for the pizza here. Nabbing a place to sit at Garland's Pizza was a talent, and I was impressed Dad was able to do it.

I slid into an empty seat. "Hey." I picked up a menu and fanned myself. "I'm not late, am I?"

"You're fine. We haven't been here long. Brett already ordered a few pizzas: a cheese, a veggie, and a pepperoni. I figured you'd find something you like between the three of them."

I shrugged. "Sounds good." I pulled my brown hair into a ponytail. It was hot in the restaurant, and my hair was heavy on my neck.

The air conditioner chugged along, apparently wiped out from a full summer of work. Drops of sweat gathered in my bra, and I prayed I wouldn't sweat through my shirt and get nasty pit stains.

"How was your day?" Dad asked.

"Boring." I kept it short; he'd space out if I said much more. "What about yours?"

"Not bad. A lot of the team came to the gym today for a pickup game, and I got to see them shoot around a bit."

"Did any of them seem good? Or more importantly"—I leaned in—"were any of them hot?"

Before Dad could answer, Brett snorted. "I'm sure they loved having you there. Gives them a chance to kiss the new coach's ass."

Dad set down his drink and faced Brett, taking on that lecture look.

A waitress interrupted by setting down a pitcher of Coke and piling napkins and silverware on the table.

I filled my glass and watched the sides sweat. I put my wrists against the moisture, trying to cool down.

"Listen," Dad said, "I've got some important news for both of you."

Brett crossed his arms and focused on the ceiling.

"I've been talking with the principal, Mr. Drew, for a few days now. About not only basketball stuff but other things too. He and the rest of the administration think it would be a good idea for the two of you to become Beacon students."

"You want us to go to Beacon?" I asked. I didn't think enrolling was a possibility. The school was superexpensive. Tuition was probably more than Dad's salary. But maybe I was wrong, and after everything that happened the past year, I liked the idea of leaving behind the memories lingering at my high school.

Brett opened his mouth, but before he could speak, Dad started again.

"You'll be able to start the new school year there. It should be an easy transition."

I nodded, willing him to go on, but he paused.

Brett seized the opportunity. "You promised we didn't have to leave Olmstead High."

Dad sighed. "Brett, wouldn't you rather go to Beacon?"

"No, I wouldn't," he spat back.

A group at a nearby table turned to stare.

I focused on my menu and wished that for once in our lives we could have more than two minutes of peace before Brett and Dad were at each other's throats.

"Calm down," Dad said. "Think about what I'm saying."

"There's nothing to think about. You said I didn't have to go there."

I kicked Brett under the table, but he kicked me right back. I knew he wasn't about to give up. Brett had been picking fights with Dad since Mom died, and it seemed as if they all revolved around basketball. Or, more specifically, the time Dad spent with basketball instead of with us. Brett would never admit it, but I knew he felt as hurt as I did when Dad grabbed a late dinner with some of the coaches or spent the weekend taking one of his star players to a college offering an athletic scholarship. Now that he'd landed his new position, it was even worse. We hardly saw him all summer.

"You promised," Brett hissed.

More and more people turned to look at my family's show.

I slumped in my seat.

Dad probably figured dropping the news in a public place would lessen the chance of a full-blown confrontation. Buzz, wrong answer.

Brett pushed back his chair and nearly knocked down the waitress passing behind him while balancing a pizza.

"Brett, sit down. I need you to listen to me," Dad whispered.

Despite the scene, my stomach fluttered with nervous excitement. Beacon was amazing. I couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like to go there.

"How can I calm down when you tell me a week before school starts that I won't be starting my senior year at Olmstead High? Instead, I have to go to school with a bunch of rich kids who look down on people like us because we don't go sailing on our daddies' boats or attend parties at country clubs guarded by iron gates. That's not who I am, so why the hell are you doing this?"

"Why? I'll tell you why," Dad shot back. "Because people are talking. They're wondering what the new coach finds so wrong with the school that he can't send his own kids to it."

I tried to catch Brett's eye and said, "Why do you have to be difficult? If you gave Beacon half a chance, you might find out it's not so bad."

Dad looked relieved.

Brett gave me a dirty look.

"Kate's right. I'm sure you'll like it there if you give it a shot."

I felt good, as if I'd done something right and Dad was proud of me.

"How about I tell them exactly what's wrong with the school and why your kids don't want to go there?" Brett said.

Dad wiped his forehead, shiny now with sweat, and tried to discreetly glance around the restaurant.

"Don't worry." Brett threw the sharp-edged words at him. "I don't think your face has been in enough papers yet for everyone here to recognize the new Beacon coach."

He spoke loud enough that anyone who didn't know probably knew now.

"Enough." Dad slammed a fist on the table.

I grabbed my glass as some pop splashed out.

"I get it," Brett continued. "This is about you. You and your position at your great big important private school. I may not be smart enough to score as high as the other kids on those fancy exams you have to take to get into Beacon, but I get it. I get it completely."

"Brett," Dad said, demanding a respect he had lost from Brett a long time before.

"You know," Brett said, "if Mom were still alive, she'd never expect me to do something like this." Brett marched away, winding through the obstacle course of happy families, and shoved open the door so hard it banged against the side of the building.

I turned to Dad to tell him how I felt about leaving Olmstead High to go to Beacon. "I know Brett's being his usual pain in the ass, but I really—"

"Not right now. The two of you really need to stop for a minute and think about what a great opportunity this is for you." Dad dug into a pocket, then pulled money out of his wallet and threw it on the table. "Can you take care of the bill? We'll talk about this later."

"Sure, whatever." I watched him leave through the same door Brett had stormed out of seconds before. This was so typical of Dad. He really hadn't listened to me, and I felt stupid for thinking maybe he would.

Transferring schools made sense, though. My old school was where Mom got sick and I sat worrying about her tests results instead of my own tests and homework. The halls of Olmstead High held friends who stopped acting normal around me, as if I were the sick one; classmates who stared at me, as if I were a freak for losing my mom; and teachers who would put a hand on my shoulder and tell me I could talk to them anytime about anything.

Brett might have been fighting to stay at Olmstead High, but I was ready to run from it. Dad didn't need to convince me. Starting my sophomore year at Beacon was one of the first things in a long time that actually felt right.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Canary by Rachele Alpine. Copyright © 2013 Rachele Alpine. Excerpted by permission of Medallion Press, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    It¿s hard to speak out when your told to be quite. When you are

    It’s hard to speak out when your told to be quite. When you are being bullied and manipulated left and right. Right before I started this book I prepared myself. But no matter how long I did that, my emotions soared with every turn of the page.

    Plot: This is about a girl who gets sexual assaulted and told to be quite by the person that is suppose to protect her. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of fury that continuously built up inside of me while I read this. Let me just be clear that this book is so emotional yet very vivid. The build up of hurt, the backstabbing of friends puts the reader in a vulnerable position to be taken away.

    Angst: Usually, I talk about the love interest but I felt like he didn’t deserve any merit in my mind. So I’ll talk about the whirlwind of emotions instead. Prepare to have your heart ripped out. I got angry with friends and parents. I got angry with school officials and so called “boyfriend” who wanted nothing more for her to be quite so that the basketball team can go to the championships! WTH!! Yeah, I’m done here before my keyboard catches on fire…

    Strength: One thing that Kate possesses is strength. She did her time, keeping quite but when she saw she couldn’t do it anymore she sang like a beautiful canary. When she thought she was alone, others came forward, singing with her. She sparked a revolution for other students and girls like her to come out. I adored this part. Kate strength to say the truth, to admit loudly what was done makes her a hero. Fact: 54% of sexual abuse case go unreported. Why? Because people hush the girls/boys up. They don’t want it to look bad or cause problems. *rolls eyes* What Kate did is amazing!

    If your up for an amazing tale of a true heroine, Canary is your story. A bittersweet tale that transpires true, hurtful acts, Canary is a powerful piece of work.

    If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse there is hope. Visit: RAINN or Call: 1-800-656-HOPE

    It’s FREE.SAFE. & CONFIDENTIAL

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    When you see the title Canary you think of the bird right away.

    When you see the title Canary you think of the bird right away. I thought of a beautiful bird living free until it is needed. Some people love Canaries and have them caged and some let them fly free in their homes. This is such a compelling story that I laughed and I cried but in the end I was very proud of the main character for stepping outside the box and doing what needed to be done. I have read several stories that have this subject matter in it and it has made me very angry but this one struck a cord with me because it could happen at any high school and what is even more sadder than that is it has.




    Kate finally has some peace of mind because her father has found a great job at a private prep school. She is dating the star basketball player and she is in love. She has new friends and has begun to enjoy her new life. But things are not always what they seem because Kate and her new friends are at a party when she is assaulted. With no one to go to and no where to go to Kate has to decide whether or not she will report the crime or not. Then when her father finds out what he does is so dam despicable I screamed at the book because I was royally pissed off!




    In the end Kate has to decide if her family is more important than herself. She will have to dig deep and wide and finds herself and do what is right for her and not the school and not the ball players and not her family. This is such a gripping and compelling story for all to read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Canary was one of the book at the very top of my wish list and I

    Canary was one of the book at the very top of my wish list and I was eagerly anticipating it's release. And Rachele Alphine does not disappoint. 

    Meet the Frankins-A father who's crippled by the loss of his wife to a point that he's no longer emotionally present with his family. His new job as a basketball coach at the prestigious Beacon Prep may be nudge they needed to finally move forward. Or maybe not.
    Brett, Kate's older brother is grieving in his own way and trying to come to terms with his mother's death and the fact that his family's only way of communication is through post-it notes. The father-son relationship is definitely suffering. Kate Franklin, the protagonist is looking forward to a fresh start. Kate is adjusting relatively better to the changes than her brother thanks to all her new friends, her boyfriend on the basketball team and her new found popularity.
                                                                     
                                                                   “We're not his family, his team is.”

    Written in prose and verse and narrated by Kate Franklin, Canary tells you a story of love, loss, family, popularity and friendship. But most importantly, it's a story of a girl's battle against herself to become strong enough to make the right choice.
    The writing is simply compelling so the reader is left with no choice but to feel every emotion that Kate experiences. I absolutely loved the way Rachele incorporated blog posts along with first person narration because it gave so much insight into Kate's thoughts.

                                                        “How loud do you have to yell until they hear you.”

    Kate, the protagonist wasn't particularly like-able but what makes Canary such a riveting read is that she was human-Completely and utterly human in her thoughts and actions. The 3-dimensional characters along with the realistic portrayal of Beacon Prep makes Canary a captivating read.

                                                                                “At first, it’s as if I have two faces. 
                            One I wear to school, around Jack, my friends, Dad, and one I have when I go home and am alone.”

    One of my favorite aspects of the book was Kate's relationship with her brother-Brett was a little more wary of Beacon Prep so he was very protective of his sister. Their sibling relationship added some great value to the story.
    Rachele's ability to tackle a heavy subject such as sexual assault is truly commendable. Kate's struggles convey a strong message and thanks to the Rachele's captivating writing the reader gets a poignant tale that leaves a mark.

    This gut-wrenching story of one girl's story struggle to accept and tell the truth is an unique and thought-provoking read for fans of Ellen Hopkins, Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson. I cannot recommend this amazing debut enough.

    **A huge thank you to Medallion Press for a review copy of Canary.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    AMAZING!!!!

    This book was a hearting stopping jaw dropping book. This book had me in tears. Best book i have read. I recomend it to everyone. The strength and courage she has is insperational. Please read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2013

    Canary tells a hard story exactly how it is. There is no build u

    Canary tells a hard story exactly how it is. There is no build up to an event like assault, it creeps into your life unknowingly and steals a part of you. Kate Franklin's life is exactly how she wants it to be. She is going to a new school where her mother's death doesn't follow her around every corner, and she has great new friends and a boyfriend on the basketball team. From afar, it seems perfect, but up close she's breaking. Her dad cares more about the basketball team he coaches than her, and her brother is struggling on his own and there is no way for her to help him. To Kate, it's just hardships that come with high school. She would never expect someone to take advantage of her, and she could never expect what happens after. 
    What I think I loved most about this book is that I knew going into it that Kate is assaulted at a party, but there is no telling when that is going to happen in the book. Just as it is in real life, everything seemed perfect until it happened and suddenly nothing was the same. The assault is one of the main themes in the book, but it does not own this novel. Kate's life as she's trying to put the pieces back together after her mother's death fill the pages with hopes, fears, and open honesty. Kate writes for a blog which breaks up the scenes quietly yet dramatically, giving us a deeper look into her mind. She experiences many things for the first time, not all good, and I quickly fell in love with her voice and her pain. By the time the assault happened, I knew so much about Kate, yet I wasn't sure if she would be able to do what she had to do.
    Every character stood out to me. I disliked every character at least once in the book, making each of them feel real. People make mistakes, people take the wrong sides, and if that doesn't happen in a book than it doesn't feel right. Kate is by far not perfect, neither is her perfect coach of a dad or her star athlete boyfriend. What matters is how you fix what you've done or how you reacted that makes you a good person. Privilege is a key factor in this book. Most of the characters make the mistake of thinking they are entitled to what they do, including the assault. It's easy not to see what's happening or to ignore it just because athletes are involved. It's a telling tale of what happens when we put the popular kids on pedestals and allow them to do whatever they please. Canary shows the hard truth about popularity, high school, and most of all, privilege. I was rooting for Kate the whole time and I couldn't be happier with the ending if I tried. It was a nice change from what I'm used too in YA and I think it was needed.
    Subjects like this can be hard to master. There is a fine line between getting it right and going overboard. Alpine told what she needed to tell and left it at that. It was simple, clear, and heartbreaking. I have not been assaulted, nor have I known anyone who has been, but I know how I act when I read or watch it being portrayed. Canary captures the fear, guilt, and aftermath like a real victim, the weight of the act baring down on Kate. There are a lot of books about rape and assault, but this one stands on its own. Kate does not back down and I think that's an important lesson to teach girls, women, anyone. If you let someone get away with what they've done, than they've won. You need to fight back. You need to speak up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2013

    I think that there are many books on the Young Adult market now

    I think that there are many books on the Young Adult market now which deal with teenage grief in one form or another, and this is perhaps why I was unsurprised that Rachele Alpine chose to write a plot which used Kate's mum's death as its catalyst.
    Canary is a book which is beautifully written in a combination of forms; Kate's blog posts in prose and poetry and Kate's first person narration. Rachele Alpine challenges her reader with the subject matter, although at no point did I feel patronised by the emotions of Kate, however I may have wanted to hit a variety of her friends!
    Despite the events of the book Kate is truly a role model for readers who are her age; she is able to find her strength and individuality.
    Canary allows its readers to feel so many different emotions - grief, anger, disappointment- because this is a story we cannot help but care about!
    This is a must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    Great read

    Very quick read. I finished it in just a few sittings. It is about sports but without going into too much detail about the games, which I liked.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Unorthodox but great

    It will make you feel a bit uneasy reading this book because it does have some explicit parts. However, at the end of the day, it holds a fatastic message while being fully captivating, and true to the heart. The Canary will not dissapoint. Enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Excellent read

    Good book with interesting characters and situations

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    'Canary' is a contemporary YA novel that follows main character

    'Canary' is a contemporary YA novel that follows main character Kate as she begins her sophomore year at the prestigious Beacon Prep - the school where her Dad coaches the basketball team. At first, things are going great: Kate has a group of new girlfriends, the guys on the team all seem to like her, and she has a great boyfriend - Jack. Things at home aren't going as well as her brother Brett and her Dad begin to fight more often, until Brett announces he's enlisting in the Army. Things at home are a mess, but Kate believes that with her friends and Jack by her side, everything will turn out okay. Then one night at a party, Kate is assaulted by one of the basketball players. She tries to tell her Dad about what happened, along with her boyfriend and her friends. Her Dad tells her to basically keep her mouth shut because he's afraid of what will happen to the team and his career, and Kate's so-called friends are no better. Now Kate's left with the awful truth of what happened that night and the fact that she can either keep the dirty secret inside or tell everyone the truth behind Beacon Prep and their beloved basketball team.

    This was a very emotional and well written novel that seemed to touch on major topics that are relevant in today's teens lives. Kate was a great main character - she's smart, tries to be a peacekeeper in her family, and just wants to make her Dad proud of her again. She thinks that Beacon Prep will be a fresh start for her - and for awhile it is. The plot was layered with multiple smaller story lines playing out throughout the novel, but they all seem to weave together to form a powerful end product. The book touches on several deep and important issues in life like friendship, family, love, betrayal, sexual assault, secrets, and doing the right thing - despite what the consequences might be, and in the end - hope. Although not all of Kate's story is a great one, it is definitely full of meaningful lessons that readers of all ages can relate to. The writing itself had a great pace and flowed smoothly along. This is certainly a book that might be hard for some readers to experience as it touches on hurtful topics, but I highly recommend it for fans of YA contemporary novels.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Can't wait for this book to come out :)

    Can't wait for this book to come out :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    Loved it!!!

    My tenth grade english teacher wrote this book and I didn't put it down as soon as I picked it up!! Loved it!!!

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  • Posted November 15, 2013

    I think I liked Rachele Alpine's novel, but I liked the concept

    I think I liked Rachele Alpine's novel, but I liked the concept of it a little more. It's an intriguing read, but I just wasn't emotionally connected to Kate or her problems. I mean, I felt bad for her, it seemed like she went through a lot in the novel, even before the story actually starts. 




    When we meet Kate, her family is grieving the death of her mother, and they're doing it separately. At the same time Kate's dad moves Kate and her brother from their public school to an elite private school, Beacon Prep, where the basketball team of the school. Kate's dad is the new head coach for Beacon Prep and Kate takes advantage of the popularity that comes with being the coach's daughter. At the same time Kate's brother, Brett, is having a rough time. He's an outside at Beacon. While Kate is basking in her newfound popularity, Brett is being bullied, and their entire family is falling apart. 




    Canary is so beautifully written and it alternates between prose and verse.  I think that both styles of writing help constructed this sad story. As Kate is desperately trying to create this new life to make up for her old one, she makes new friends and dates one of the most popular guys in school. As she tries to create the new life, her old life is crumbling away, piece by piece, and she's beginning to realize that her new life isn't built on stable ground. It just takes one night and one party for Kate to realize it. 




    I wish I could've connected with the story on an emotional level because a of things happen but it just didn't register for me on a emotional level. I liked the plot and the characters and almost all the components of the novel but I just couldn't connect. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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