Latest Read: Small Damages

Here are the basics ...
Book: Small Damages
Author: Beth Kephart
Category: Young Adult

Summary: It’s senior year and while Kenzie should be looking forward to starting college in the fall, she is mourning the loss of her father. She finds solace in the one person she trusts, her boyfriend, and soon finds herself pregnant. Her boyfriend and mother do not understand her determination to keep the baby. She's sent to Spain for the summer, where she will live out her pregnancy as a cook’s assistant on a bull ranch, and her baby will be adopted by a Spanish couple.Alone in a foreign country, Kenzie is at first sullen and difficult. She begins to open her eyes and her heart to the beauty that is all around her and inside of her. (Adapted from

My thoughts…
The good:  The author does a wonderful job of creating interesting characters that you want to learn more about.  Kenzie is a young, scared girl about to have a baby and living in a foreign country until she gives birth.  She's dealing with all these emotions including resentment, abandonment and struggling to do the right thing.  Her voice felt very real and she wasn't always the most likable person, but that's part of the reason why I liked her - she's flawed.  I also loved the way she spoke about her unborn baby. Throughout the book she talks directly to her child and makes references to us/we.  Her decision isn't an easy one and her feelings on it were well-portrayed.  There are also a lot of other secondary characters that added to the plot but the one I have to mention is Estela.  She just had such a big, loving heart and she shares a lot of poignant moments with Kenzie. Their relationship was my favorite part of the book.

The bad: I know what I just said about the characters but at the same time, there wasn't enough.  I wanted to know more about the father of Kenzie's baby, her friends, her parents.  So much of her past is told in these fleeting flashbacks and Kenzie herself brings up these people all the time but none of it felt clear enough.  Just tiny glimpses.  Enough to interest you but not enough to truly understand.  And I was very interested in learning more about them because I felt like they played a big part in what she was going through.  Also, I have to admit the whole scenario seemed a bit old-fashioned for a contemporary novel.  I remember my best friend and I used to joke around that if we ever got into any major trouble in high school, our moms would probably ship us off to the Philippines but I don't think we ever truly believed that would happen.

Do I recommend?: I liked it but I was left feeling a little underwhelmed.  I think that if you're in the mood for a quick read with a mature character and some poignant moments, you might enjoy this.

Happy reading!

1 comment

  1. Hmm, this sounds truly interesting. I'd definitely want to read it, based on premise alone.


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