Testify Paperback – Aug 4 2011
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Testify is a solid thriller and mystery story with definite "true crime" aspects, but it manages to hold the reader's attention without resorting to violence of any kind. Readers will be rooting for Shana to figure out how Carrie manages to always come out on top and will be quivering with intensity, eagerly flipping the pages to find out what happens next. (CM Magazine)
Some of the situations are a bit over the top but in the style of psychological thriller. Carrie is brilliantly manipulative and manages to convince most everyone that she is a victim. (Resource Links)
Sherrard generally does a great job of creating a sense of intrigue and mystery while capturing the tone of modern adolescents interactions and their desperate need to be accepted into a group. (The Waterloo Region Record 2011-11-18)
Sherrard gets so much right in the novel's tone and in the girl's chemistry that its impossible not to buy into her thoroughly modern take on teenage vigilante justice. (Quill and Quire 2011-07-01)
About the Author
Valerie Sherrard has written more than a dozen novels for young people, including the Shelby Belgarden Mysteries, Watcher, Sarah’s Legacy, Speechless, and her first historical novel, Three Million Acres of Flame. Her work has been shortlisted for numerous Canadian awards, including the Ann Connor Brimer, Red Maple, and Snow Willow Awards. She lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick.
Top Customer Reviews
The moral dilemmas Shana has to face are exceptionally well-handled, the structure is great - I enjoyed the moral complexity of the girl's situation, and found how she handled it realistic and moving. The author has such a sure, deft hand she makes it look easy, but something this seamlessly told takes real talent.
In Testify, Sherrard crafts a riveting story about the moral messiness of lying and giving false testimony. Shana is persuaded by her best friend, Carrie, to lie about having witnessed Carrie's stepfather sexually abusing her. The situation goes awry when Shana discovers that Carrie has lied about the alleged abuse, among other things. A prominent theme in this novel is the changing dynamics of friendship and its far-reaching implications. Sherrard convincingly portrays the complexities of young girls' friendships, including the sheer meanness and nasty rumours that are capable of permeating one's life and self-image. This raises an important point about the serious issue of bullying that occurs among many young people and the pervasive effects it has on victims.
The dialogue in this novel is very candid and Shana has a very distinct voice. As a reader, I found that I could connect well to her. Like Sherrard's other novels, this one is gripping and thoroughly engaging. Testify is a slim book that you could conceivably devour in a few hours. Sherrard's writing will keep you turning the pages!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
When Shana agrees to lie on the witness stand to say she saw her best friend's stepfather molesting her, she feels like she's saving Carrie. But soon after, Shana begins to have doubts. Is Carrie capable of such a lie, and if she's capable of that, what else might she do?
TESTIFYING was a fun read, despite the seriousness of the subject. Shana is a likable character, much too trusting of her best friend, even after the evidence mounts. Her naïveté, at first understandable at some point turns to cluelessness as she continues to fall for Carrie's manipulations. I knew something about Carrie was off, as the story progressed, she became more of cliched. I enjoyed the writing and pacing, I wish Valerie Sherrard had included an additional 50 pages to add more meat to the story and delve deeper into the characters. She created a nice voice for Shana's narration.
Themes: friendship, sexual abuse, honesty, cliques
TESTIFY would probably best appear to Tweens and younger teens as older readers might be see this novel as implausible. At 128 pages, I finished the book in about 2 hours in one sitting.
The moral dilemmas Shana has to face are exceptionally well-handled, the structure is great - I enjoyed the moral complexity of the girl's situation, and found how she handled it realistic and moving. The author really doesn't put a foot wrong in this incredibly well-told tale.
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