In Snapped, high school freshman Ari struggles with the challenges and changes that come with getting older. When popular senior Cade sends her photos and messages to show his interest in her, Ari is unsure how to handle the attention. As his comments get more personal and indecent, she needs to make several decisions on whether the approval of a boy and others are worth the risks that arise if she allows it to happen. Her year-long journey teaches her how to stand up for what she feels is right, as well as how to refuse the dangers of peer pressure.
This story displays a major theme of rising against setbacks, as well as owning up to your actions and words. For example, Ari is displayed as a naive and hopeful teenager in the beginning. When she is asked to send risky pictures of herself to a boy, she seriously considers doing so. Although at this point I found her thought-process disturbing, unfortunately many teenage girls find themselves at the center of these types of problems in real life. Regardless of her uncertainty in this situation, Ari's character development was astounding and leaves a positive message to many girls, whether they are vulnerable or just trying to figure out themselves. This is especially true when she used honesty to confront those who victimized her using peer pressure and other forms of bullying.
The benefits and significance of having a support group is also displayed in this story. Ari's family and friends helped and encouraged her to defend herself against bullies and unhealthy friendships, as well as gave her advice for the future. The grudges that Ari held against Meike were freed as she realized how sometimes the people you didn't connect with in the past could eventually become an ally in the present and future. I appreciate that this was added in the story because it can remind readers that people change and that the circumstance is not always negative.
The presence of female character development, an important support group, and strong messages that look toward empowering both women and girls makes this book a must-read for many types of readers. The realities of growing up are shown in Snapped, which also makes it a great story for pre-teens and teens who are also discovering themselves and the world around them.