Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teenie by Christopher Grant

Publication Date: October 12, 2010
 Summary from Goodreads:

High school freshman Martine (Teenie for short) is a good student, with a bright future ahead of her. She's desperate to be accepted into a prestigious study abroad program in Spain so that she can see what life is like beyond the streets of Brooklyn. She wouldn't mind escaping from her strict (though lovable) parents for awhile either. But when the captain of the basketball team starts to pay attention to her after she's pined away for him for months and Cherise, her best friend, meets a guy online, Teenie's mind is on anything but her schoolwork. Teenie's longtime crush isn't what he seemed to be, nor is her best friend's online love. Can Teenie get her act together in time to save her friendship with Cherise, save her grade point average so that she can study in Spain, and save herself from a potentially dangerous relationship?

My Two Cents:

Teenie has got a lot on her plate. She has to worry about keeping her grade point average up so she can get a scholarship AND worry about what to wear to school tomorrow AND still keep from getting in trouble with her parents. I enjoy her personality because she's smart and innocent unlike many girls her age.As naive as she is, when she does finally catch on, she gets it. Her parents work hard to keep her in line and focused on her studies. Her best friend Cherise puts her on to the new things. One day she gets talked into wearing a dress to get "noticed". Well she definitely gets more than she bargained for.

I really liked Teenie because I grew up in Brooklyn NY where the book is taking place so I knew every street corner and every pizza shop that was mentioned. My high school was actually a few blocks away from Teenie's. Her conversations with Cherise definitely sounded familiar. It was like hearing an old conversation I'd had with one of my girls at that age..

At first I was a bit disturbed by some of the adult content  but then I remembered that that's actually a realistic situation for a 14-year old these days. That was Teenie's struggle throughout the novel. She was still thinking the way a 14- year old would think while her peers were moving on to more adult things.

Her parents are typical Caribbean parents. School comes first, everything else isn't very important. Unfortunately keeping her sheltered did have some drawbacks. I think her parents just wanted to protect her but not knowing certain things can still be harmful. 

Very nice debut from Christopher Grant and writing from a female's prospective at that. I look forward to more from him.


  1. I actually didn't know that Caribbean parents were typically so focused on school thanks for the info on that ^.^ It's also great that the author got all the details right for the setting he was writing in.

    Sniffly Kitty
    Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books

  2. I think immigrant parents are generally are fairly strict by American standards. That would be assumption that of course could (will) be proven wrong.

    I really liked this book too, in fact I've had a not-so-great debut reading year but Teenie is one of my favorites of 2011. And the 'blessing' made me crack up because we definitely don't call it that in Chicago! Is it a Brooklyn thing? :)

  3. It definitely is a Brooklyn thing LOL. As soon as I saw it I knew exactly what he meant!

  4. Anonymous5:10 PM

    Thank you for the review and the great comments folks.

    Christopher Grant

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