By Elizabeth Westhoff

Missourian Teen Book Reviewer

Renowned author Jennifer Brown has created another masterpiece with her new novel “Thousand Words.” It is a tale of honesty, betrayal, redemption and friendship that points out some harsh truths that teens are faced with in this modern age.

Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds leading to many a crisis of character. With the press of a button a teen can ruin a life these days.

Ashleigh learns that one picture can change her life when she sends her boyfriend Kaleb a nude picture of herself because she feels he’s not paying enough attention to her. After this, Kaleb leaves for college, and they go through a messy breakup. Kaleb spitefully forwards the picture Ashleigh has sent him, when she was drunk and lonely, to his entire baseball team.

Ashleigh learns how one simple picture can lead to a world of heartbreak and betrayal. When the photograph goes viral, Ashleigh quickly realizes who will stand by her and what it means to be alone.

While Ashleigh is completing her community service for distributing pornography, she also learns about second chances and true friendship. Mack, a boy she meets at community service, is the only one who did not look at her picture, and his quiet friendship helps her come to terms and move on from what has happened.

Jennifer Brown has truly woven an epic tale of mistakes and redemption in “Thousand Words.” It is a great book for teenagers because it truly hits home that “sexting” and cyber bullying are real problems. Not only are these practices demeaning, they also can lead to far-reaching consequences that even involve the police. I also think this would be a good book for adults to read so they can learn about the issues teens face in this technology-rampant era.

I personally loved this book because it is so real. I almost cried in a couple of places because the emotions are so real and prevalent.

“Thousand Words” also made me realize how one little action can completely change your outlook on life. Additionally, I believe that everyone can be hurt in some way through technology; it is almost unavoidable. If we learn about these issues now we will know what to avoid later and save ourselves a lot of heartache.

Jennifer Brown makes this possible because this book is something we can relate to; it is not just some dry facts presented to us by teachers and other adults.