How should I describe my experience reading The Kayla Chronicles? I couldn’t put the book down. Partway through, it was so exciting it came close to traumatizing. The resolution made me feel calm and happy. Throughout the book, I felt like I was living the narrator’s life. The Kayla Chronicles is the story of Kayla, a fourteen year old feminist and self-proclaimed intellectual. She and her best friend Rosalie have a club, Sisters Providing Encouragement and Kindness (SPEAK), and plan to use it to help other girls by promoting feminism and girl power in their community. Rosalie convinces Kayla to audition for a celebrated high school dance team, just to prove with her failure that acceptance to the team is only a matter of large-bustedness. Kayla and Rosalie, do not see their own small breasts as a problem, and plan to write an expose of the dance team’s discrimination based on breast size. But when Kayla makes the team, she finds herself torn between different groups and different values – even when when herself doesn’t know who she wants to be.
As I said before, this story was engrossing and really had an impact on me. Part of this is because I often think about the same sort of things that Kayla has to consider. I too am a teen age girl. I too have had times when I needed to evaluate my identity. That said, the book itself is fantastic. Sherri Winston is especially skillful when it comes to dialogue. The characters are spirited and multi-dimensional. The story is laid out very nicely and is well-paced. All in all, The Kayla Chronicles is fun, thoughtful and very relatable. I highly recommend it.
Review by Sasha