Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Gotcha!, by Shelley Hrdlitschka
(hasn't been updated recently)


Katie is a senior in high school. She's on the grad committee. She has plans. But her life is getting a little complicated as her parents are splitting up. Worse. It is Bead Season at Slippery Rock High.

Every year the graduating class plays a game called "Gotcha!". To play this, each participant is given a bead, and a name. They have to stalk and then tag the person whose name they have, in order to win that person's bead. Eventually, one student has all the beads, and is the winner. Because everyone has to give $10 to play, there is a huge pot of money for the winner. Trouble is, the game can get out of hand, and this year, the school administration has decided to ban Gotcha.

Undeterred, the rest of the grad committee decides to continue on with the game, just keeping it all a secret, and all off of school property. Katie isn't so sure this is a good idea, but she plays anyway. Soon she finds herself forced into competitiveness in the game, as it quickly turns ugly.

This is a fast-paced, angst filled adventure. The writing is good. The characters are believable. The game seems true to form for the age group. We get some Lord of the Flies style dissolution of the micro-society within the high school, and some chick lit style romance. And yes, it all works together. I think this could prove popular, and will find an audience. I recommend it.


Shelley Hrdlitschka said...

Hi Jenn! Thanks for reviewing my book, Gotcha. I enjoyed writing it because it's based on a grad game that 2 of my daughters have played, and the third daughter will be playing it in just 2 more years. The young people in my community have enjoyed reading about themselves in a novel.

I hope you'll look for my fall book, Sister Wife, in a couple of months. I started writing it years ago, but its launch date is timely as polygamy is so much in the news these days. In BC, we have our own little community of Bountiful, which, strangely enough, is a lot like the town of Unity is my book!

Thanks again! I'll keep my eye on your blog for recommendations of good Y/A fiction. That's pretty much all I read anymore.
Shelley Hrdlitschka

MadJenny said...

Dear Shelley,

Thank you so much for stopping by! I loved the book. It is one of my very favourite new teen books of the year!
It is so good to get some of the background to the story, and great to hear that your local teens have had the thrill of having their experiences written about in such an excellent story.
I'm looking forward to Sister Wife! Thanks again!