Author: Donna Cooner
Age group: 12 - 14 years
Page count: 275 pages
Publication date: March 28th, 2017
Summary from Barnes & Noble:
Download the app. Be the judge.
Everyone at Linden's high school is obsessed with Worthy. It's this new app that posts pictures of couples, and asks: Is the girl worthy of the guy?
Suddenly, relationships implode as the votes climb and the comments get real ugly real fast.
At first, Linden is focused on other things. Like cute Alex Rivera. Prom committee. Her writing. But soon she's intrigued by Worthy. Who's posting the pictures? Who's voting? And what will happen when the spotlight turns... on Linden?
Worthy taught good lessons about accepting who you are. Linden learned that she shouldn't let others dictate what she wanted to be. Many teens need to learn how to be themselves. Some people commit suicide because they worry so much about what others think. Not only did it teach how to be grateful for who you are, it taught about not judging others before getting to know them. I liked the portrayal that everyone has a mean side. Linden's classmates wouldn't vote on Worthy if people knew who they were and who they voted for. The app and the setting supported the messages it wanted to send.
The romance between Alex and Linden was sweet, but abrupt. He supported her when she was being deemed worthy or not worthy of him. I was surprised how quickly their relationship progressed and how early it was introduced. It lacked the depth that made me want to ship them. I assumed this was part of the plot: another boy would save the day and a new relationship would start. I was disappointed when this didn't happen.
I lost interest in this book as I read on. I couldn't connect with the characters. They obsessed about impressing others. I feel that the author worked so hard on making them relatable that they turned out shallow. Linden acted impulsively and I felt the author was just trying to make me feel bad for her. The characters are in high school, but their behavior reminded me of middle schoolers. I wish the author had showed me how Linden overcame her doubt and came up with a story that meant something to her.
Worthy teaches meaningful lessons about accepting yourself. The topics such as bullying and popularity will appeal to many readers. It is clear the author wanted to hit me with multiple lessons, but the characters were forced on me. I would recommend this for the important messages it taught, but it was not my favorite.
Donna is the author of over twenty picture books and was a founding member of the Brazos Valley Society of Children's Bookwriters and Illustrators. She has also written children's television shows for PBS and textbooks for future teachers. SKINNY is her debut novel for young adults.
Taken from her website.