Book Review: Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin

bethany_handcuffs1She runs out of the room crying.
Let me start over.
My mom runs out of the room crying.
Um, let me start over.

Bethany Griffin’s debut novel, Handcuffs, follows the story of Parker Prescott, an “ice princess” with problems. Her parents are unemployed and about to lose their house, the local high school blogger is spreading rumors that she’s a whore, her sister’s marriage is falling apart right on top of her, and–oh yeah–her ex-boyfriend came over and there was that incident with the handcuffs.

This ain’t Sweet Valley High, folks.

Griffin’s writing is taut and quick, moving through this high-school hell at breakneck speed as Parker tries to fix her life. I could not put the book down–it totally stole an entire Saturday from me.

While the plot is a good one—fast-paced, twisty—it was really the characters that grabbed hold and wouldn’t let me leave. They are exquisitely drawn, fresh and real. I loved Parker, and I was definitely rooting for her very early on. And I may have occasionally said “no! no! Parker don’t!” aloud to the book. Yes, that may have happened. Parker and her problems are easy to relate to–her everyday problems as well as her extraordinary ones. And the ex, ohhhh the ex. He’s mysterious and dangerous… and nameless. Throughout the book he is referred to only as “him” or “my ex-boyfriend” and so on. A cute gimmick? I don’t think so. It focuses the story on Parker. It’s Parker’s feelings for the boy that are important, not necessarily the boy himself. An interesting literary choice on Griffin’s part, and I think a good one.

So overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and I highly recommend it for the YA reader in your life. 

buy it here at amazon.com

Disclaimer: I do happen to know Bethany, she is awesomesauce, but I didn’t let that influence the writing of the review; please don’t let it influence your reading of it.
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