Author Rebecca Jenshak
Sub – Genre Young Adult
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In this novel The Assist, the author Rebecca Jenshak, addresses the idea of young people who have stepped out into the world unsupervised. They encounter conflict and struggle to deal with outside pressures while holding on to their dreams and beliefs.
Blair and her best friend Gabby dream of going off to college where they expect to study Business and have perfect GPAs. Their plan is then to make a major impact on the world as women bosses. However before they head off to college an accident shattered their lives and changed their paths. Now Blair has gone off to college alone to live out their dream.
College isn’t all she expected however. As Blair navigates the murky waters of college she finds herself at the mercy of a blackmailer and the brutal work load she is forced to carry has her fighting harder than she ever expected to realize their dream.
As she fight for her dreams Blair finds help in the most unexpected place, the world of the jocks. As she puts aside her stereotypical expectation she finds acceptance, a romantic connection and her salvation in her new relationship with the athletes. Blair with her down home charm, unpretentious behavior, willingness to give and constant positivity also find a permanent place in the hearts of the jocks.
The story gives a more rounded view of these characters. We get a surprising look into the lives of the star athletes and are made to see them beyond the musclebound, hot, stereotypical exterior to the people they really are when no one is looking. We get a look at their hopes, dreams, loyalty, weaknesses and strengths. We see their brotherhood, nobility and surprisingly brains behind the public image.
The author writes about many situations facing young people. The way the issues are addressed makes the characters appear quite mature in the way they think and handle their difficulties.
The main characters of the story are Blair and Wes Reynolds.
Even in her struggles Blair is always positive. She has surprising strength and boundless compassion. She is driven and does all she can to success and realize her dreams even while she stops to help others realize theirs.
Wes is the basketball star. He is the team captain and in every way the leader. He is committed and driven to succeed. While he is not the most talented player his drive and dedication is what makes him the undeniable leader of the team.
Z, Joel and Nathan are Wes’s team mate, friends and constant companions. They are his support team off the field whenever he needs them.
Gabby and Vanessa are Blair’s best friends. Gabby has been Blair’s friend and neighbor all her life. From the very beginning she was often the one planning their lives and driving Blair to succeed. When Blair goes off to college, it is Vanessa her room mate who becomes her closest friend and shoulder to lean on.
What I Liked
I liked the characters and the authors’s writing style. I found the story captivation, sometimes amusing and even heartbreaking at some points. The strength of the main characters and their maturity in the way they handled conflict was quite admirable. The spirit of brotherhood displayed in the story and the added dept to the character of these sports men made this book quite interesting.
What I Didn’t Like
I loved all of it.
Stamp Of Approval
I would certainly recommend this book to others. I think it is most appropriate for young adults.
By Candy Benn