Title: The Wrong Side of Right
Author: Jenn Marie Thorne
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Young Adult Realistic/Political Fiction (13+)
Review: For a book that centers around politics, The Wrong Side of Right had a surprisingly intriguing plotline, with a unique look at what goes on behind the scenes of a political campaign, and how it affects everyone involved. Not long after Kate Quinn’s mom dies, a man unexpectedly shows up at her door, claiming to be her father. But he’s not just anyone, he’s a republican candidate running for President of the United States. And he wants her to be come live with him in South Carolina to join his campaign.
We’re given an inside look into the drama that comes along with being a family member of a presidential candidate, and the pressure Kate faces from the media as she’s thrust into the spotlight as the Senators long lost daughter. The campaign managers treat Kate like a puppet, expecting her always to act the right way, to dress the right way, to say the right things, and I found it very frustrating the way she seemed unable to be herself, however realistic it may have been. There was a lot of sudden weight on her shoulders as she became a favorite among her fathers supporters. Her every move was watched closely, and she had to partake in many staged outings with the step mom and half siblings had only just met.
Her newfound relationship with her dad is complicated, as expected. They’d never before known that the other existed, and they struggle to adapt to the change in both their lives as they get to know each other and come to terms with the years they’ve spent apart. They have a lot of ups and downs throughout the book as the pressure of the campaign increases, creating arguments and conflict between them. It was equally heartwarming and heartbreaking, but overall, it was evident that they both were determined to form a relationship, and to make up for lost years.
I was pleasantly surprised at some of the very liberal views her father had despite him being a candidate for the republican vote. It was refreshing to be introduced to someone of the republican party who didn’t believe in all typically conservative beliefs, and didn’t rely on them as a tool in his run for office.
The one thing that really irked me was the fact that (besides the topic of immigration that makes an appearance later in the book) we weren’t really given that much insight into Kate’s personal views on the controversial topics that came up. She just seemed neutral, her mind void of any strong political opinions of her own, and I really wanted to know what direction she wouldv’e leaned towards if she hadn’t been the daughter of a politician with no choice but to publicly support his campaign. Maybe she was simply unintersted in politics, maybe she simply didn’t have strong opinions to begin with, I wouldn’t know, but it would have been a lot more interesting if she’d had been.
Overall, I’ve never read a book like this, but I’m glad at did. I enjoyed watching Kate’s new relationships unfold; the growing bond between her and her younger half-siblings, the mixed feelings between her and her new step mom, the secret romance that formed between her and the son of her fathers political rival. Adam provided some necessary contrast to the overall seriousness of the campaign, his playfullness and desire for rebellion against both his and Kate’s highly structured lives made the story all the more interesting. It all wrapped very nicely, and I’m definitely looking forward to Jenn’s next book The Inside of Out. So if politics hold even the slightest appeal to you, and if you like books that center around family matters and big life changes, I definitely recommend this one to you.
Rating: 4.5 Saturns
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