I recently read Exposure by Patricia Murdoch. Orca Soundings is a high-interest teen fiction series. Exposure is a novel with a reading level of 2.8+. I am always interested in Canadian publishers of young adult fiction so when I saw it on the teen shelf in the library, how could I resist?
The story suits its purpose well. The plot is tight and believable. Julie, the victim of a female bully, has an ideal opportunity for revenge. Themes of friendship, moral choices and loyalty are important. I enjoyed this very fast read. The soap opera action will appeal to readers who dislike complicated plots, difficult language and long descriptive passages. Is the author writing down to the girls? No. By writing the novel in the first person, Murdoch keeps the language simple but authentic.
I probably won’t read a lot of novels of this type. I’m more interested in SF than in teen relationships. What I would do is recommend it to high school teachers who are trying to reach potential readers in their basic or general-level classes. This is a book many girls could read for pleasure because the heroine, Julie, has a clear voice which is easy to relate to.
In other news of interest to creative writers, Robin Maharaj is teaching a fall course in creative writing at the University of Toronto, Ontario. For more information, look here for registration information.