I don’t read many YA books anymore, which means I don’t write many YA books reviews. Although I used to read quite a few and still really enjoy them. But lately they haven’t been on my radar. However, my book club decided to read The Gatekeepers. And so I’ve got to write a ya books review! Here it is!
The Gatekeepers by Jen Lancaster is a Young Adult novel that mainly deals with the topic of teen suicide that’s brought on by pressure from the school, parents and community to perform at unattainably high standards.
I can’t say I loved this book, but it was a fairly quick read and it was interesting enough that I decided to finish it. The characters were pretty one dimensional. All of them. Some of them unbearably so. And I think it was that aspect that made me want to stop reading several times.
Didn’t Love It, But…
The book addresses important themes for teens and for parents though. I think that’s its saving grace. The pressure to perform and compete and outshine that we place on our children seems crazy. And of course this particular community fictionalized in the story was over the top, but even now I hear about the competition necessary to get into a good school.
The added requirements to make them shine above others. All of those conversations make me want to pull my kids out of school and home school! I don’t want them in the middle of that type of pressure. They only have one life to live and I don’t want the young years to be filled with anxiety and worry. Actually I don’t want any of their life to be filled with those things! Ha!
It seems like our society is so extreme today. We’re either psycho about something or completely nonchalant and apathetic. This seems to be the case with school systems. Where’s the in between? Where’s the balance?
Will You Read It?
Because of the questions this book raises, it’s not a complete waste. But I imagine there are other books out there that address these issues in a better way. In the end, it definitely solidified and confirmed the way I want to raise my children. And it’s NOT the way represented in The Gatekeepers!
Do you think you will read this one? Let me know in the comments below.
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