Ashleigh’s boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he’ll forget about her while he’s away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh’s friends suggest she text him a picture of herself — sans swimsuit — to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits “send.”
But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone — until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he’s the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh’s photo — and didn’t look.
Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown brings readers a gripping novel about honesty and betrayal, redemption and friendship, attraction and integrity, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn’t always tell the whole story.
We’ve all done things that we’re not proud of. But what would you do when what you did spirals out of your control?
That’s what Ashleigh must now face. Serving court-ordered community service is not fun. Attempting to stay invisible at school is not possible. How can she be herself when everyone is judging her without giving her a chance to say her truth?
This is a story I devour in one setting. It’s a quick-read and I feel sad learning what goes through Ashleigh’s mind before and after the incident. I like that Brown didn’t diminish or dramatize the consequences that come with the choices that Kaleb, Ashleigh and their friends make. It’s something simple to do to click a button on a smartphone but the impact from that one click can change the life of many people.
Thousand Words delivers an empowering message that while we’ll always live the consequences of the choices that we make, it’s up to us to take back the power that we may have forsaken due to shame, insecurity, guilt or past mistakes. I like that Brown emphasized on the fact that our life is much larger than the mistakes that we’ve made, and even when we’ve done something that affect not just ourselves but our family and friends, we can still make the choice to step out of our mistakes and stop defining ourselves by the things that we’ve done.
This is definitely a book I highly recommend!