Speed of Life

Speed of Life

Book - 2016
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Twins Crystal and Amber have the same goal: to be the first in their family to graduate high school and make something of their lives. When one gets pregnant during their junior year, they promise to raise the baby together. It's not easy, but between their after-school jobs, they're scraping by.
Crystal's grades catch the attention of the new guidance counselor, who tells her about a college that offers a degree in automotive restoration, perfect for the car buff she is. When she secretly applies--and gets in--new opportunities threaten their once-certain plans, and Crystal must make a choice: follow her dreams or stay behind and honor the promise she made to her sister.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780544747821
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Kelly
Characteristics: 341 pages ; 22 cm


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Jun 21, 2018

This book is an amazing story about finding one's place in the world and accepting one's mistakes as a part of who s/he is. A touching story about a complicated love between two sisters.

Dec 29, 2017

Rating: 4/5 This story centred around two twin sisters that live in an underprivileged home. They learned from a young age that they had to fend for themselves. With a history of teen pregnancy and no one in the family that has a high school degree, one of the twins gets pregnant. However, the twins are determined to graduate and get out of their cycle of poverty. This story is a beautiful example of sisterly love and the power of that connection. As the challenges of parenting and school come at them, their relationship is tested.
@sunsetzuzu of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

So many emotions ran through me as I journeyed through this book, connecting with the characters along the way. This is a spectacular book written in a phenomenal way which enables you to have a feel for the setting and events which occur throughout the storyline. Growing up loving action and young adult books, this book surprisingly had me wanting to read more. Transitioning from the main character, Crystal’s, life at work to her life at home will have you understanding in the end why she made the choices she did. Allowing herself to believe things which she knows is not true will have you wanting to learn more about her past and how she is coping with her complications. Unlike some books I have read, this book keeps you engaged and is a definite page turner. Very well thought out in placing shocking twists with a surprising ending such as the decision she makes in the end of the novel which will determine her fate for the future. A book I would recommend to people who like to read the genre realistic young adult. Very detailed and moving resulting in a very successful book. 4/5.
- @booklover327 of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

samcmar Oct 21, 2017

It upsets me how much this book isn't being talked about. This is one of those contemporary gems that has no buzz behind it, and it's just such a genuine and thoughtful read. Speed of Life is about two twin sisters who share everything, are dirt poor, and are looking to get out of their backwater town and make real lives for themselves and the child that one of them has had out of wedlock. While this doesn't sound like the most original plot line, there is something so engaging about the way in which Kelly shares this story.

What I loved about this novel is Crystal's narrative. She's very thoughtful, has a huge sense of pride in herself and her abilities as a mechanic, and she wants to be able to rescue herself, her sister, and the baby they are raising from the poverty that they face. I love the way the author establishes the sister's relationship to both each other and their friends and family. The writing and looking at the world through Crystal's eyes are just so vivid. She has aspirations, she has goals, and she hopes that Amber will share those goals with her. When the fall out in the story occurs, it just really broke my heart into several pieces because I just connected so deeply with the sisters conflict, despite not having experienced it personally.

I think the author does such a great job of sucking the reader into the story and making the reader connect with the girls and connect with their story. I think what I also loved about Speed of Life is that there is such a larger mystery going on with who is Natalie's parents, why are the girls caring for her, and I think Kelly does an amazing job keeping the reader looking for these answers.

I wish more folks would read this wonderful novel, especially those who love contemporary. Speed of Life is raw, heartfelt, and it asks the reader to open themselves up to a situation that is just so emotionally exhausting. I hope when this novel releases that more readers consider checking this one out. Everything about it just left me emotionally drained in the best kind of way.

The book “Speed of Life” was a well thought-out book with a storyline that kept me captivated the entire time I was reading. The story follows twin sisters Crystal and Amber and their struggles in life coming from a bad home with uninvolved parents, at the end of their senior year in High School. Both girls have very different dreams in life, Amber dreams of one day owning her Aunt’s diner while Crystal dreams of working at the car shop, fixing cars for a living. When Crystal learns about a college in California that specializes in car restoration, her real dream, it becomes her new dream path in life. Unfortunately this dream conflicts with her and Amber’s long-standing plans of moving out together after high school and living their small town lives, raising Natalie, one of the twin’s daughters as a duo.
In the book I was a little disappointed with the character David and his use in the book, although he was useful to the growth of Crystal as a person, helping her apply to college and achieve her dreams, I found that he was lacking a strong personality and distinct presence. The personalities of Crystal and Amber were enjoyable and complemented each other in a way that because they were so contrasting together they made a whole person. As a pair they could accomplish anything, school, their parents and their jobs, all while raising Natalie as teenagers.
The author’s writing made it so that I could clearly and easily picture the settings around the characters, from the twins’ house to their respective work places and school. I got a good sense of the area they lived which made the book come to life more knowing I could picture the places the characters were living.
The conflict between the sister, Amber and Crystal were everyday realistic problems that many siblings would face together, this created an easy connection to the characters and their experiences. Overall this book was an amazing read with plot twists that you didn’t expect and storyline that kept you hooked. I would recommend this book to readers, mainly girls 13 and up.
(Reviewed by Natasha for the CloverdaleTeenBookReviewProject)

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