Fifteen-year-old Tabitha has had the kind of life that would impress even the greatest adventurers. She’s escaped a croc attack in the Amazon, walked the length of the Great Wall of China, and earned a black belt in taekwondo in Korea. She owes her worldly experience to her mother’s career in archaeology, but when her mother takes on a dangerous new assignment, Tabitha is devastated to learn she can’t tag along.
Instead, she’s forced to live on a midwestern farm with her grandparents where she’ll have to attend a full year of public school. It’s Tabitha’s greatest nightmare, because despite all her adventures, she has no practical experience with the one thing that frightens her the most – other teenagers.
Her math teacher is her mom’s old high school boyfriend, she can’t tell the friendly girls from the mean ones, and she develops a major crush on a boy she knows she can’t trust. And just when she thinks she’ll never get the hang of this normal teenager thing, an attack brings the danger of her previous life right up to her midwestern porch. Who could have ever guessed getting totally shucked would bring her face-to-face with her most exciting adventure yet?
Well, that was fun. I’m not being sarcastic either. The best way to describe this book is simply fun. It was short, light, funny mixed with just enough drama to keep the pages turning. YA Contemporary isn’t my first love by any stretch of the imagination. I am, however, a fan of Megg Jensen so when I discovered she was straying away from her comfortable fantasy genre I decided the least I could do was see what she was up to.
Even though I trusted this author, I was just a little leery. Given the synopsis this could easily have turned into a ‘Mean Girls’ remake. I’m happy to say it didn’t. Of course there were the normal teenage drama filled moments. When you read a book about teenagers that’s to be expected. From experience I know that’s just the nature of the beast. The difference in Shucked was that the story didn’t totally center around petty teenage drama. Tabatha was smart, funny and strong and just the right amount of quirky. During the course of her extended stay she found out that there were things in life she was missing that she didn’t even realize that she needed. Sure, there was petty drama, but there was also some pretty intense real life drama that she had to battle too. I loved the twists and turns that Shucked took readers on. Some were predictable but others you never saw coming. I like it when even a light read keeps me on my toes. 😉
The characters were great and the small town that Shucked took place in was just as much a part of the story as they were. Megg got the small town thing down perfectly….
It’s okay,” I answered. “I just want to know how you know so much about me. My mom’s postcard just arrived yesterday.”
Becky blushed. “Oh, um, my mom heard from Jenny’s mom, who works at the café and she overheard Justin’s mom who lives next door to Tara’s mom who works at the post office and read it on the postcard your mom sent.”
My jaw dropped. How many stereotypes about small towns did Becky just confirm for me?
By the time I reached the end of Shucked, I wanted more. Mainly because I fell in love with Tabitha and her wit. Even something as seemingly normal as a bus ride home from school made me giggle…
Were buses invented as a form of torture? Maybe the U.S. government would have been in a lot less trouble if they’d driven the Gitmo detainees around in school buses with obnoxious teenagers until they cracked. It would have worked on me.
Even though Shucked was a departure from the genre that Megg Jensen usually writes, I’d say she got it right. If I’m not mistaken I’d say a little bit of her own personality came through in Tabitha, which made it even better. If you’re looking for a light, fun read with a touch of sweet romance and a few surprises thrown in, this is one you should definitely check out.