Bound To Stay Bound

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 Author: Charles, Tami

 Publisher:  Scholastic Press (2021)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 383 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 207644 ISBN: 9781338673524
 Ages: 13-17 Grades: 8-12

 African American singers -- Fiction
 Celebrities -- Fiction
 Interpersonal relations -- Fiction
 Hip-hop (Music) -- Fiction
 Rhythm and blues music -- Fiction
 Exploitation -- Fiction
 Novels in verse

Price: $22.78

Seventeen-year-old Denver and her best friends Dali and Shak sing their way into the orbit of the biggest R & B star in the world, Sean "Mercury" Ellis. All the parties and perks seem like a dream come true until painful sacrifices, lies, and exploitation start turning the dream into a nightmare. Will Denver fight back and lose her big break or go along to get along and get broken in the process?

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 5.00
   Points: 6.0   Quiz: 511930

   Kirkus Reviews (12/15/20)
   School Library Journal (+) (02/01/21)
   Booklist (+) (02/15/21)
 The Hornbook (00/03/21)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 02/01/2021 Gr 10 Up—Haitian American 17-year-old Denver and her friends Dalisay, who is Dominican, and Shakira, who is Black, are a local Shohola Falls, PA, R & B group called Angelic Voices. When they are noticed by popular singer and producer Sean "Mercury" Ellis, their world, which looks bright and promising, becomes full of deceit and isolation. Charles's heartbreaking novel in verse shows the harsh realities of the music industry and runs parallel to the real-life #MuteRKelly and #MeToo movements. Denver's first-person narration is completely believable. She is an honest and reflective character who often thinks about her choices and how she is doing the best she can with what she knows. Denver shares insight to her family life, her love of music, and also her secret love and adoration for Dalisay that is hidden from her family and Shakira. Denver's voice is unique, delicate, and written from the point of view of a relatable teen girl who struggles with her identity. Readers are advised of themes that may be triggering such as "rape, eating disorders, abuse, manipulation, and divorce." These themes are worth exploring and may teach readers that these tragedies can happen to anyone. The book also shows the importance of having a trusted adult to talk to and the warning signs of manipulation. VERDICT Hand this to fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Tiffany D. Jackson.—Kharissa Kenner, Bank Street Sch. for Children, New York City - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 02/15/2021 *Starred Review* Together, Denver, Dali, and Shak make up the Angelic Voices, a girl group desperate to be discovered. So when famous R&B star Sean “Mercury” Ellis takes an interest in the girls after hearing them sing outside of his concert, it seems like the stars have finally aligned. Despite the incredible opportunity this presents, Denver’s parents agree that their 17-year-old daughter will not be going off to work with a 30-something man. Or so they think. What first seems to be a rags-to-riches affair takes a murky turn for the worst as this novel in verse shows the girls’ flashy life with Mercury morph into one where they are held hostage and abused. Charles plays continuously with space and language here, effortlessly weaving together the story of Denver’s and Dali’s traumas associated with family, friendships, and desires for stardom. Trigger warning: there is explicit mention of sexual assault here, in addition to physical abuse. Ultimately, this book’s ending will leave readers at a heart-racing stall, asking, Can chasing fame really cost you your life? Teens enamored by the writing of Tiffany D. Jackson and Jason Reynolds will be swept away by this taut and gritty read. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

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