'Time’: Good teen reading


Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 2:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 2:14 p.m.

Your friends all know better.

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“Time to Shine” by Nikki Carter, c. 2012, Dafina Teen, $9.95, 240 pages.

They know they’re wasting their breath when they try to tell you to do something. They know it won’t work. They can make suggestions, offer opinions, or say how they’d act in your situation, but tell you what to do?

Uh-uh-uh. They know better. And in the new book, “Time to Shine” by Nikki Carter, pushiness can backfire for a boy, too.

No drama for the rest of the school year.

That’s what Sunday Tolliver said and it was a great idea, except it didn’t work. Drama started with the Atlanta wedding of Sunday’s mentor, Mystique and the rapper Zac, but when Zac’s baby mama dropped his son off at the reception, that didn’t make Mystique very happy.

And then there was Sam, who was Sunday’s ex.

When she caught him in a lie a few months before, Sunday told Sam that she couldn’t tolerate an unfaithful man but he kept saying it was all a mistake. He wanted Sunday back and everybody thought she should give him a second chance, but there was no such thing.

She wasn’t ready for another man in her life — freshman year at Spellman College was too much fun to tie herself down — but she wasn’t ready to let DeShawn go, either.

Then, to this personal drama, add the little spat between Sunday’s roomie, Gia, and her boo, Ricky.

Above all, though, Sunday had to keep her eye on her career. She was an award-winning singer-songwriter and was up for more awards. Life would have been good, if only her cousin Dreya stopped scheming and Sam stopped dreaming of reconciliation.

Want a teen novel that snaps with energy and crackles with sass? Then you want this latest book in the Fab Life series.

Just like the other books featuring Sunday Tolliver, author Nikki Carter takes a little bit of normal teen life and sprinkles it with fame, paparazzi and fortune. I’ve always liked the good mix of characters that Carter offers: black and white, adult and almost-adult, completely without violence and with relatively tame boy-girl interaction. All of that makes this book darn-near perfect for teens ages 14 to 17.

Yes, this is the next installment in a series, but I really think Carter makes it easy to start here. If you’re up for a fun teen novel, grab “Time to Shine” and read it.

Terri Schlichenmeyer never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.

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