Polarity in Motion

Polarity in Motion

by Brenda Vicars

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Fifteen-year-old Polarity Weeks just wants to live a normal life, but with a mother diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, that's rarely easy. Her life gets exponentially more disastrous when her sixth-period history classmates start ogling a nude picture of her on the Internet. Polarity would never have struck such a shameless pose, but the photo is definitely of her, and she's at a complete loss to explain its existence. Child Protective Services yanks her from her home, suspecting her parents. The kids at school mock her, assuming she took it herself. And Ethan, the boy she was really starting to like, backpedals and joins the taunting chorus. Surrounded by disbelief and derision on all sides, Polarity desperately seeks the truth among her friends. Only then does she learn that everyone has dark secrets, and no one's life is anywhere near normal.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940150162716
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publication date: 12/01/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 264
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Brenda Vicars has worked in Texas public education for many years. Her jobs have included teaching, serving as a principal, and directing student support programs. For three years, she also taught college English to prison inmates.

She entered education because she felt called to teach, but her students taught her the biggest lesson: the playing field is not even for all kids. Through her work, she became increasingly compelled to bring their unheard voices to the page. The heartbeat of her fiction emanates from the courage and resiliency of her students.

Brenda's hobbies include reading, making things out of re-purposed wood, pulling weeds in the garden, and Zumba.

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Polarity in Motion 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book.  I was hooked from the beginning to the end and will not soon forget the characters.  I am actually hoping for a sequel to come out soon.  This story could go on and on from the biracial relationship to the problems with the Mom's mental illness. I found it amazing how well educated Polarity and her father were about the illness.  I would imagine there are a lot of families dealing with such issues and do not have a clue as to what they are dealing with or how to handle it.  Can you imagine the hurt their kids must go through daily. Again, I loved the book.     
eheinlen More than 1 year ago
This book was not at all what I expected it to be. I expected the answer to be paranormal or related to a mental disorder, but the truth was more harsh and heartbreaking than I could have imagined. I think this book should be required reading in junior high or early high school. It perfectly sums up a terrible situation and lets you see how one small mistake can cause many issues with devastating consequences to occur.
bard-jongleur More than 1 year ago
Polarity drew me into her story from the opening, and then I was racing through the pages to see what would happen next. Few novels have had me so glued in. By chapter three, I was tearing up. Viccars crafts a mystery and a love story that is sure win the hearts of young adult readers. But she goes well beyond that, and deep into territory few have ventured into, exploring the dark side of schools, child protective services, the criminal justice system, racism, and human behavior, delving into the impact of Borderline Personality Disorder on families, and in particular, children. She handles the issues and complex themes with a deft hand, keeping the tale moving forward and squarely on Polarity and her real-life concerns. The questions provided at the end were thought provoking, making this book an excellent addition to any Language Arts curriculum or school or public library. Bravo for Polarity. I found her story, gripping, touching, wise, and beautiful. I look forward to more from this talent author!
BigAl70 More than 1 year ago
This is a well conceived and well written story that works on multiple levels. On the surface it has a mystery (where did that photo come from and who posted it on the internet) and a budding romance. It’s also a coming-of-age story, as Polarity learns more about how the world works and takes giant strides towards adulthood. Polarity’s story gave me flashbacks to my junior high days with a tale that is tension filled, with well developed, realistic characters, and a protagonist that everyone should love. Taken at face value, it’s a great story. However, lurking beneath the surface is so much more. There is a lesson on the difficulties of dealing with family members with mental health issues and encouragement to be more accepting of those who are different. There are also questions raised about kids who get caught up in the system, especially if they don’t have adults like Polarity’s parents to act as strong advocates for them. Questions that, as you consider all sides of the issue, don’t have easy answers. I’d recommend this book not only for the obvious core audience of young adults, but for old adults like me as well. An excellent story that should resonate with all ages. **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. ** 
wazi More than 1 year ago
Polarity in Motion by Brenda Vicars This is an outstanding story. It was easy to be drawn in to Polarity’s dilemma. The scenario is realistic, complex, and so are all of the characters. Not only is Polarity a victim of circumstance, but she has to deal with her mother’s borderline personality disorder. This causes Polarity’s mother to turn things around to make this all about her. This disorder causes her to be extremely focused on details others overlook. She is highly intelligent and a tenacious bull dog who won’t let things go. She is also willing to verbally attack with very little provocation. Polarity and her father certainly have their hands full. Her mother’s story is heart-wrenching in and of itself. One of the story lines is the relationship between Polarity and Ethan. Ethan is a black student in her class that takes it upon himself to unravel the mystery of where this naked picture of Polarity came from. He is intelligent and has been at this school longer than Polarity so he knows the students better. Polarity is drawn to his strength of character and steadfastness. I enjoyed the way their relationship developed and the trials and tribulations they went through. One of the main themes that runs through this story are barriers, either seen, unseen, or flat out denied to exist. At the end of the book are some discussion questions for book clubs to consider. The whole story is compelling with several elements expertly woven throughout the whole novel to give a well-rounded view of Polarity’s situation and the complexities that arose. Ms. Vicar has done an excellent job with her debut novel. It is obvious that she has had experience with students, school faculty, mental disorders, and law enforcement advocates. Polarity in Motion is an eye opening story handled with compassion that everyone should be required to read. Format/Typo Issues: I was given a promo copy to review, but found no significant errors in proofing or formatting.  **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** March 6, 2015
megHan-sHena More than 1 year ago
Polarity in Motion It's very rare for me to finish a book and not have words to express how I feel about the story.  Usually, I gush all over it or scream from the rooftops about what made me hate it, but this ... I think I'm still recovering. I picked this book up two nights ago, planning to read a few chapters before I went to sleep.  Next thing I knew, I was finishing the story and it was somewhere around 2:30 in the morning.   The characters were interesting and, with each "turn of the page," I wanted to know more about Polarity and her family.  Being there as she went through this horrible experience was heartbreaking and there were times that I wished I was in the story so I could just hug her and make things better.  The relationship she had with her parents was something special, but because of her mother's condition, there were some very emotional moments (written well) that affected me as a reader, and as a human being.  Polarity and her grandmother were definitely my favorites, but there were a lot of other characters that I enjoyed reading about, including Ethan, her grandmother's boyfriend, and Tilly.   This story is stuck in the genre of romance, but to me it was far more than that.  Yes, there was this attraction she had for Ethan, but what I thought was far more important was the fact that he was so willing to help her, and believed her from the very beginning.  I loved the mystery, the investigation (and what she learned from her grandma's boyfriend) - the fact that her and her family were so willing to fight for the injustice that was being done - and that she wouldn't give up or just give in.  (She was a lot stronger than she ever could have imagined.)  There were twists that I didn't expect, things I thought would happen that didn't, and the ending left me quite surprised. I recommend that this book be read by children in high school - or even ones getting ready to begin there.  To me it is a story about bullying and shows you what can happen when you keep your mouth shut instead of speaking out against what is wrong. Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.  Please remember that this review is my opinion based on my own personal impression of the book.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Like a contemporary Nancy Drew with a malicious and dark twist, Polarity finds that bullying comes in all forms of personal humiliation when a nude picture of her hits the internet hang out for her classmates. That isn’t degrading enough? No one believes she has no idea where it came from, how it was taken or who would do such a vile thing. Only Ethan, is on her side, for now, but will he, too jump ship and turn his back on her? Battered emotionally, but not defeated, and with the world against her, Polarity sets out to prove her innocence, as well as show who the monster was who did this to her. She takes her “punishment” deals with the snickers and glares, the feeling of being different and alone, once again, but pushes forward, one lie and one heartache at a time. Talk about powerful! Talk about relevant to our times! Talk about a sad statement about the callousness of youth and the insecurities of others to stand up and say enough is enough! Is each generation being desensitized to compassion? Even authority figures are hearing with a deaf ear! Polarity in Motion by Brenda Vicars is powerful reading, a must read for all who oppose bullying in any form. She has created a strong and vibrant character in Polarity, a girl who feels like her life is the only one not “normal,” but who has her eyes opened to others around her. Ethan seemed to be a strong on and off supporter of Polarity’s, and his vacillations at first glance were confusing, but Brenda Vicars has mastered the air of suspense, and doling out information carefully at the precise moment I wanted to scream! Very well written, very intense, Polarity in Motion should grace every library and reading list, no matter the age. Do a teen a favor, encourage them to read this, they’ll be glad you did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Polarity in Motion, written by Brenda Vicars, is a fast moving novel that in many ways could be described as a whodunnit.  But there is much more to this well written novel than just the temptation of wanting to jump to the last chapter and discover the perpetrator.  It is an emotional roller coaster and romance, in rhythm with the day to day mood swings of a borderline personality, mother, as Polarity and others resolve the mystery of the nude photographs. This is a novel that will not only have you pinned to your seats, but will also challenge your perceptions on equality. Are we any better than Polarity’s mother with her black and white perspective?   My first impressions in reading this five star novel was how quickly and skilfully Brenda Vicars draws  the reader into the plot then throughout the book maintains ones interest.  This is a book I can well recommend and I certainly look forward to the writer’s next book. Brian Wilson, New Zealand
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Polarity in Motion is a touching debut novel about a girl just trying to get through life with a borderline mother. When someone online pulls up a nude photo of Polarity during class, her world unravels. Everyone with authority believes Polarity must know who took the photo. Even her crazy, self-absorbed mother questions her innocence. As Polarity searches to uncover what happened to her, she becomes friends with Ethan, a young black boy at her school who has also ended up in a disciplinary situation. Polarity and Ethan want to help each other, but Polarity soon learns that the playing field is not even for all kids. I really enjoyed this book. The parts with Polarity's borderline mother were haunting. For a woman who unquestionably loves her child to do the things Polarity's mom did was shocking, but believable. The mother seemed stuck in a cycle of helping and hurting her child all in the name of love, and every action the mother took she justified. This is a book I won't forget.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Polarity Weeks is the new kid in town, but instead of fitting in, she stands out. And when one of her tormentors finds an embarrassing photo of Polarity on the internet, her life is changed in ways that she never expected. The journey to find out who posted this picture, and how it was even taken, leads Polarity to places "people like her" do not usually experience. I could not put this book down and finished in one day. Truly an enjoyable and engrossing story of teenage trials and tribulations with a twist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liv_Nina More than 1 year ago
High School student Polarity Weeks is used to being an outsider at school. Since her parents move a lot, she is often in different schools and therefore the new girl. Her Mom was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder which is the reason why they move a lot to find a treatment that will help her keep the illness and her symptoms under control. Polarity’s life is already difficult when suddenly a naked picture of her pops up on the internet – discovered from students in her class – that turns her world upside down. She soon will discover that things will get worse before they get better. But never in her life would she have imagined that a picture she never posed for would force her away from her parents. The big question now: Who posted the picture on the internet and how was it made?! Polarity knows that she didn’t pose for that picture, but how does the girl on it look exactly like her? Will she be able to prove her innocence and is Polarity going to find answers to her questions? --- I like that this book shows us so many problems that we have in our society. Prejudices, aversion for different races, afraid of differentness, bullying, not standing up for the good - maybe because we don’t care or are afraid to be pulled into something we don’t like getting into,… Bullying is a big topic in this book and is something a lot of people have to deal with in real life. Either in school, at work, at home, abroad,… I wish that my teachers at school would have let us read something like this book, because it’s a perfect basic to start talking about this problem and how everyone of us can help to stop it. I enjoyed reading about Polarity and how she developed throughout this story. Her horrible experience made her attentive to other people with problems and that some of them are not as lucky as her to have relatives at their side to help them and sometimes they may even have a lot working against them. I also loved that Ethan helped the underdogs even though he kind of was an outsider himself. He’s admirable. I cannot repeat it often enough: I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing was good and I loved all those details which may seem weird looking at separately but made so much sense at the end when they all came together. And the Characters – even the “bad” ones – were really good described. I could really picture this story in my head while reading.
Aurelia_Literary_Reviews More than 1 year ago
I don’t even know where to start with this book. It absolutely blew away my expectations. This book could have very easily taken the easy way out. And by that I mean, gone with the lowest common denominator of the story spark, followed mainly the romance line, and sat with a vast herd of mediocre YA contemporary lit that skirts around important issues and uses them as window dressing without ever really addressing them. Polarity in Motion is so refreshingly not that book. Brenda Vicars throws her protagonist into the fire forcing her to face questions as diverse as bullying, ethics, mental illness, race relations, inequality, social injustice, grief and yes all this while coping with typical teen problems like struggling to comprehend first love, jealousy, and self-confidence. I absolutely inhaled this book in one sitting, not only for it’s rich themes but because it’s a compelling mystery. As the horrors of the first few pages unfold and Polarity’s life is forever changed this book grips you. There is no looking away from this train wreck until you know how something like this could have possibly happened. And as things continue to get worse before they get better for Polarity, all the way her thoughtful consideration of everything, the way she looks at the world around her is really just so beautiful that you can’t help but want to continue on the journey with her until the very end. The romance in this was well done in that it was sweet and didn’t overwhelm the entire plot when there were so many other more important things at play here. It added something very sweet to the story, but I appreciated it’s level of subtlety. Obviously the bullying theme was huge in this story, and it wasn’t just a one-time attack, it was a systemic problem that kept rearing its ugly head throughout the book in different incarnations, over and over and over again. It was interesting as someone at an age where many of my friends now have children at or nearing that age to see how the parents dealt with or any many cases failed at dealing with the situation. And it wasn’t that she had bad parent’s by any means, it was just such an impossible situation to deal with. The other thing I really liked about this book was the mother with Borderline Personality Disorder. It was an interesting choice. I haven’t read any other fiction books with BPD. And while it wasn’t entirely faithful to my experiences with the disorder, it was I think possibly faithful to one possible extreme example of the disorder and it was nice to see light brought to a very infrequently talked about or understood mental illness. I would highly recommend this book for so many different readers. It’s one of those books that I think has such important things for teens to read about while still being a really entertaining read! It’s one of those books that I immediately wanted to call my friends that are high-school English teachers and librarians and tell them about. It’s one of those books that needs to be read, and digested, talked about, especially among teens! But I hope if that’s too intimidating, it will at least be read. 4.5 stars This review originally appeared at Aurelia {lit}{geek}{chic} at aurelmedia dot wordpress dot com *I received a complimentary review copy of this title from the publisher or author in exchange for a honest review.
MyndiL More than 1 year ago
I received this book from the generous author, who asked me to review it. This is one of those books that I just could not put down. I stayed up last night until it was done. I was drawn into Polarity's story from page one and I just had to know what happened next. This girl's life changed in an instant and there was nothing she could do to control the whirlwind of events that happened to her. In addition to the lack of control over the situation, she also had a sort of lack of control in her private daily life outside of school dealing with a parent with a condition that made things very chaotic at times. What struck me most throughout the entire book was how Polarity didn't just sit back and take things and didn't mope around feeling sorry for herself. She stood up for herself, she investigated, and when things started going south for her friend, she did the same thing. I also really love the message about inequity involved in Polarity's road to self discovery. I definitely see this as a great way to reach out to teens and teach some valuable life lessons.
lil_bit22604 More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. I would recommend it to any teenage girl or mother to read. There are scenarios in this story that I'm pretty sure are going on now in middle school and high school. The main thing that happened to Polarity was horrible and made me cringe. I felt so bad for her. But it showed how she worked her way through the problems that kept getting thrown her way. I would read more stories by this author. I was given a copy of this book for an honest review.
bkwrm29 More than 1 year ago
Polarity in Motion... I'm not completely sure how I feel about this book. On one hand, this book simplified some of the problems in today's society. The problem of racism when it comes to outright disrespect and than ignorance and blindness to what is sometimes right in front of someone. In this case, the book was a success for me. I loved how the author told this story from Polarity's viewpoint. She did it in such a way for it to feel genuine and real. It didn't seem forced or overdone which was a major plus for this book. On the other hand, this book felt a little immature. The situation itself was a little too unrealistic and it made a lot of the book seem forced and even childish. I understand the seriousness of the situation but I didn't like how the author went about solving it. Something about the resolution just undervalued all the work that went into figuring out what actually happened. I'm sure many others would appreciate how the book was resolved, but personally it wasn't my favorite ending. Polarity herself felt like a pretty strong character. She really took matters into her own hands and never doubted herself and what she knew to be true. She worked endlessly to prove her innocence when it seemed like no one else would. This strength worked out well in favor as she garnered the help of Ethan, a crush. Ethan was one of those supporting characters that represents the quintessential good guy. He was tough and protective and true to what he believed in and loved. Even when he was put in the hot seat and got caught up in Polarity's situation, he pushed himself to do whatever it took to help her and any other underdog.  One facet of the book I found interesting was Polarity's relationship with her mother. Her mother, diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, was one of her greatest adversaries. At times accusing Polarity of lying and taking the picture, Polarity's greatest weakness was her love for her mother. Many times these words knocked her down several pegs and cause her to lose some faith in herself and her situation. Some of the difficulties associated with this disorder for the family is what I found truly insightful. Overall this book is very interesting and through what seems to be one problem, actually opens the door on multiple social problems which are usually ignored. The topics of racism and mental disorders were evaluated and brought to a new light in this book. Definitely a good read for those who have a fondness of self-discovery or How To Kill a Mockingbird.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ChristyFuller More than 1 year ago
When I first opened the pages of Polarity in Motion by Brenda Vicars, I began reading from the perspective of a mother and teacher of adolescents. However, by the end of the first chapter, I became submerged in the perspective of fifteen-year-old Polarity Weeks.  As a new student, Polarity Weeks begins Star Ninth Grade Center as an easy-target. She stands out not only because of her name, but also because of her quirky mother who named her and because of her family's current living arrangement in the trailer park. Her home life proves to be challenging enough, but her life becomes even more complicated when token "mean girls" at her new school conspire against her by posting a nude photo of her.  Maintaining her innocence, she then begins the journey of uncovering the source of the conspiracy with the help of lovable characters such as her grandmother and her love-interest, Ethan. Although she does not uncover the source of the photo until the very end of the book, subplots and flashbacks weave the story together and continue to build the momentum for the reader. While uncovering the truth about the photo, Polarity discovers more about herself, her family, and the world around her. I highly recommend Polarity in Motion by Brenda Vicars to both teens and adults, alike, as the themes of forgiveness and social awareness are vitally necessary in our world today.
Ogitchida-Kwe More than 1 year ago
In the fictional book Polarity in Motion written by Brenda Vicars the reader is moved with emotion throughout this beautiful and wonderfully entertaining story! My heart was captivated and held for ransom at points in this story. The main character shows a resilience for life and an attachment to her loved ones that clearly shows an utmost love to the highest degree on her part. Not only that, but the grandmother was overwhelmingly like my family members that have passed on it brought tears to my eyes. Vicars knows how to reach the emotional side of her readers via her writing and in depth characters. I can not give away the story and I know you have read the synopsis but just let me say that Vicars truly understands the child protective services system as well as the institutions that we call schools. I feel that I have once again fell head over heels for the writing style of Vicars and would love to read more of her works in the near future. I recommend this book for teens and all others! This book definitely deserves a superb rating of FIVE stars from me!
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
 Polarity in Motion was a gripping read. Just reading about all that Polarity went through in her day-to-day life with her mom's borderline personality disorder diagnosis and all the moving around her family does because of it was something else. But then to have a mysterious nude picture of her pop up online and spread through her new school like wildfire on top of that? Unreal... For the first third or so of the book, the reader struggles right along with Polarity as she desperately hopes to be able to return home, unsure of how the system can be convinced once and for all that she'll be safe there. Once she's back with her parents, though, things don't get immediately easy for her--she can count on one hand the number of people who truly believe that she didn't pose for the picture, and unfortunately, for a long time her parents aren't in that number. It truly seems baffling that this picture even exists for so much of the book, knowing Polarity as we do. The mystery of the picture--how it was taken, who took it, and why kept me turning the pages. I needed to know as much as Polarity did. In the meantime, though, Polarity faces a host of other issues--racism, prejudice, bullying, teenage pregnancy, teen drug use, a look at how the system treats different groups of people differently, to name a few--and at times it all seemed to be a bit much. It felt like a good two or three books' worth of issues, maybe even more, and none of them quite got the treatment they deserved here. The ending--and the solution to the whodunnit? question--ended up feeling rushed. The author did a decent job of showing how there had been subtle indications of the truth all along, but it's all resolved really quickly compared to the pace of the rest of the book. Given the cover photo (I know, I know--judging books by their covers and all that, so sue me) I would have thought there'd be more of a romance here than there was, though what was here was sweet when one of the two people involved wasn't too busy pushing it away. Teenagers. I tell you. Verdict: Thought provoking and a good read, issues aside. I enjoyed Polarity's voice, and would definitely read this author again. Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B+ I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
badkat17us More than 1 year ago
This book was an emotional roller coaster. I really felt for the main character Polarity. Polarity has not had the easiest childhood because of her mother and now her world is being turned upside down. She is being accused of doing something she didn't do. No one will believe her except a girl she meets in when she is taken from her parents and her Grandmother. One day at school she finds out that there is a naked picture of her on the internet. No one will believe that she didn't pose for the picture. The police suspect her parents and take her away to a safe home and then allow her to go live with her grandmother with the case is ongoing. They move around a lot so as it is because of her mother's condition so she doesn't really make friends. Now everyone is talking about her posing naked for a picture. She is determined to find out who is behind the picture. She likes a boy, Ethan at school and he seems to like her but what will he think now that the picture is out there. He helps her by asking questions around school. She wonders if her likes her back or if he just wants to help her. Polarity goes through so much and you almost think that she won't get the answers she so desperately wants. She finds out things about her mother that she didn't know while she is living with her grandmother. I would love to read more about Polarity and Ethan. She much happens in this book. The book has a great story line. She learns that certain people never really get the support or help because of their race. She learns all kinds of lessons and things about herself. Polarity's mother is all of the place. Most of the book she is on egg shells around her mother. Her father tries his best but most of time is still all about Polarity's mother. So much happens in this book and it is really moving. Polarity comes out much stronger and more confident than when she started. I can't say enough about how great this book was. Great job Brenda Vicars. I was given this book in return for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow--figuring out how the naked picture got on the Internet was a wild ride.  Love the discussion questions at the end--my book club is going to use them.