Choices deals with an important topic that affects many teens: sexuality. Several teenage girls, Shauntice, Angel, LaKeeta, Bridgette, and Hope are dealing with the consequences resulting from their choices concerning sexuality. While Shauntice is a faithful Christian and believes in abstinence, Angel does not believe in God and has multiple partners because she feels neglected by her mother who is always working, and she has never known her father. Despite being a Christian, LaKeeta became purposefully pregnant before getting married, which is the complete opposite of Hope, a shy girl whose mother has controlled every aspect of her life. Bridgette is a strong Christian and firmly believes in abstinence. She looks down on other non-believers and those who do not have the same morals as her.
Although she has been abstinent, Shauntice has not been without temptation and the fight against it might be harder than she thought. Angel is with someone who doesn’t treat her right and while her friends tell her leave him, she can’t seem to pull away even when he keeps hurting her over and over again. LaKeeta has found out just how difficult it can be when one is pregnant. She and her parents have gotten into disagreements and she even loss a friend or two over the pregnancy—will she be able to make it through this tough time and take care of her child? Bridgette is losing more than a few good opinions with her unbending morals and inability to accept and tolerate those who do not share her beliefs and has been less than friendly to others that do not agree with her entirely. Hope is one of those girls that Bridgette has been cold to; Hope has been finding herself restricted and unhappy with her harsh mother, because it has made her unable to connect and talk to others. Each girl has her own struggles and everyone has something to learn, but can any of them be open-minded enough to succeed?
Life is rarely black and white, and most people do not see all the possible consequences for the decisions they make. To have morals and to stick to them is a good thing, but acceptance is also important. As some characters learn in this book, you shouldn’t deal in absolutes; you should be more open-minded and realize that your point of view isn’t 100% right and isn’t the only opinion out there—don’t shun others just because they don’t see things exactly the way you see it.
Choices deals with a subject that maybe touchy for some, but undoubtedly affects teens in some shape or fashion and may just get you to think your own choices over a little more. This novel also deals with religion, and readers who are religious themselves may find it easier to connect to and understand this novel, but Choices is an undoubtedly a thought-provoking book, as we all have our own struggles and choices to make.
Because of the mature content of this book, I would recommend that only older readers read this book.
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