Sarah Tipton offers a chance to foster this empathy and insight through her tension-packed Christian YA novel, Betrayal of the Band.
Here's the book blurb from Amazon:
Lured away by a college band promising more singing exposure, ambitious high school senior, Zoey Harris, abandons her boyfriend, her band, and her values.
Justin Conrad is determined not to make the mistakes his dad made that nearly tore their family apart, so he will support Zoey's every decision--even if he knows it's the worst decision for her and for him.
Being a drummer is all Sawyer Mahon has. When Zoey abandons them, Sawyer sees his future fading faster than the crash of cymbals. After all, what good is a drummer without a band?
But after one wrong kiss, more than just the future of their band is destroyed. Can Zoey, Justin, Sawyer, and their band survive betrayal?"
Zoey, Justin, and Sawyer are each authentic teens with depth and flaws who face tough choices. There were so many times I wanted to yell at the characters, "NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING STOP IT." That's the mom in me who wants to shield these characters from pain. Haha. But at the same time, I get it. Their mistakes make sense. I understand them. Because I'm a person who has made mistakes too. YA novels help us move outside of that parenting tunnel vision we can get, where were tempted to let our thoughts be 100% "NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING STOP IT." YA books expand our vision and remind us that behind the mistakes are real, complex people with their own desires, feelings, and struggles. Then we can approach our kids with understanding and grace in those situations where they make choices we aren't thrilled with.
In Betrayal of the Band, Tipton also does a fantastic job of including the parents and home life as a part of what shapes the characters.
Zoey wants so badly to honor her mom's memory, that she's feels responsible for making choices that will make her mom proud. That's a tall order for anyone. Where do her own desires and needs fit? Can anyone effectively live their own life if they have this pressure to make someone proud?
Justin has overprotective, strict parents and sees his mom as a hypocrite. It's interesting to explore whether this straight-and-narrow character is a product of his strict upbringing, and whether or not that perfection is more than skin-deep when crap hits the fan.
Sawyer is raised by his single mom and doesn't know his dad. The relationship between Sawyer and his mom is my favorite relationship in the entire book because they're so real with each other. I could gush about these two all day. But as great as the relationship with his mom is, he has some demons in regard to his absent dad.
The nature vs nurture debate is always interesting, and I believe both nature and nurture shape a person. Parents have a lot of influence. And I bet each of us could use a little more empathy and connection no matter what age our children are.
Do you read YA as an adult? Have any YA novels given you insight into the teen/parent relationship? Tell me about it!
Want to read Betrayal of the Band by Sarah Tipton? Here are some helpful links:
Hard copy is out! Digital download is available for preorder and drops August 11.
About the author:
Sarah Tipton shares Alaska with her characters, where she lives with her family, including some adorable pups. She's a homeschooler extraordinaire and crochets when she's not running, spending time with her family, and daydreaming plots.
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