Tangled by Carolyn Mackler (NY: HarperTeen, 2010).
Jenna, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are four teens who happen to be at a Caribbean resort called Paradise over spring break and whose lives couldn't be more different, yet they become unpredictably tangled. The four-part story moves chronologically through each of their perspectives as they navigate difficulties in their lives. Jenna is insecure, especially about boys, and her brief encounter with Dakota in Paradise doesn't build her confidence, especially when the gorgeous and confident Skye decides to spitefully butt in, just because she can. Still, simply moving out of her comfort zone helps Jenna take another step later on. A skilled actress, Skye is definitely hiding something from everyone in her life. Dakota just wants to forget about the recent death of his girlfriend and overcome the guilt he feels, but he also has to learn to deal with situations in ways that don't hurt others. His brother Owen is more like Jenna and needs to learn to live life rather than just observe others.
I enjoyed the way the narrative moved from one perspective to the next one but remained chronological. It was interesting to see the characters as others saw them, especially once they'd given their own perspectives. Jenna was my favorite character because she's shy and has to force herself to do things she doesn't want to do, even though she might get hurt. She also learns that you can't always trust appearances as Dakota and Skye, who both seem confident and attractive, both have difficult issues they needs to face. Jenna plays an interesting role in helping all the other characters, too. As much as I liked the changing perspectives, they also kept characters from being as developed as I might've liked, especially Owen (whose part is last). Since some parts of the other characters' lives wouldn't (or couldn't) necessarily be included by the current narrator, that made it hard to follow the details of everyone's lives. Overall, though, this is a great read, recommended for ages 13 & up. Sexual situations, language, alcohol.
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