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The Beat Goes On by Adele Minchin
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The Beat Goes On

by Adele Minchin

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285545,980 (3.33)8

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Showing 5 of 5
VOYA's Book Review Codes:
Quality
5Q Hard to imagine it being better written.
4Q Better than most, marred by occasional lapses.
3Q Readable, without serious defects.
2Q Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q.
1Q Hard to understand how it got published, except in relation to its P rating (and not even then sometimes).

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Popularity
5P Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday.
4P Broad general or genre YA appeal.
3P Will appeal with pushing.
2P For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject.
1P No teen will read unless forced to for assignments. ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  heathergarcia | Nov 2, 2007 |
A young teen, Leyla, finds out a secret that her cousin has been hiding from family and friends. Her cousin swears her to secrecy and Leyla has to figure out how to keep the secret, help her cousin, and cope with the devastating news herself. The story is realistic as it deals with the topic of HIV. Written several years ago, and set in Britain it may be a tad bit out of date or place for American teens. The issues are universal, but appear to be much more taboo as written here than they may be here in America currently. It's an appropriate book for teens, grades 9-12 and may be used to show teens some of the reality of living with HIV as well as some of the facts versus fiction regarding this disease. 4Q, 3P
  teralee | Nov 1, 2007 |
In Britain until recently HIV/AIDS has been seen as a 'gay disease' despite the fact that worldwide it is predominantly a heterosexual disease. The percentage of gay and bisexual men infected in Britain has recently fallen while the percentage of heterosexual transmissions has been rising and, in particular, amongst the sexually active young. All this to give a context to Minchin's engagT and most empathic novel which tracks 15-year-old Leyla's responses to the devastating news that her much loved cousin, 17-year-old Emma, is HIV positive after a one night stand when she did not insist that her sexual partner use a condom. Minchin, who works as a volunteer for Body and Soul, a support group for, amongst others, young people with HIV/AIDS, has constructed a careful fiction in a rather breathless, teen magazine style which yet contrives well to present much useful and practical information about HIV/AIDS - how to go for a test, what support will be available, the impact on family and relationships, the misconceptions and prejudices and so forth - in a way that teenagers will find riveting. This is a considerable achievement, and it is to cavil, yet given the importance of the topic I cannot avoid doing so, to point out that amongst so much excellently accurate information the throwaway line on page 125 about convincing a boy to 'wear double condoms' is a dangerous one: the friction between the two layers of rubber would risk tearing the condom. While Minchin's characters have little psychological depth - some are no more than thumbnail sketches - they represent HIV/AIDS issues well. She is particularly good at not being preachy - Leyla is much taken with 18-year-old Darren and, despite knowing the risks, is herself nearly carried away by passionate feelings into having unprotected sex. Teenagers regularly report that their sex education lessons in school are 'too biological, too little and too late'. This tender, if rather orchestrated account of the tragic repercussions of such inadequate teaching, will stay in the teenage mind. Category: 12+ Secondary. Rating: **** (Very Good). ...., Livewire, 224pp, D5.99 pbk. Ages 12 to 14.Rosemary Stones (Books for Keeps No. 129, July 2001)(Rosemary Stones
0 (Books for Keeps No. 129, July 2001)(CLCD)
  BobCronk | Oct 29, 2007 |
"Bored with the structure and dullness of her family, Leyla adds "a good drama" to her cosmic shopping list. But when she learns that her closer-than-a-sister cousin Emma has tested positive for HIV, Leyla craves the comfortable old behaviors that are gone forever. Only Emma, her mother, and Leyla know that, at sixteen, Emma's life has been limited. Every action, each moment in Emma's life is ruled by this new information. Leyla's life has also changed. The social stigma that is still tied to HIV/AIDS angers and confuses her as she fights her parents' conservative judgements. The girls' mothers are estranged sisters, complicating the family's availability for support. Although she is Emma's main support, Leyla still has her own life with friends at school, her passion for playing the drums, and the hope of becoming a professional musician. And then there is Darren, who makes her want to be in love. But she knows the responsibilities and consequences of having unprotected sex and risks endangering their relationship rather than her life. In addition to her writing, Minchin works with people who have AIDS, and in this debut novel, she creates the opportunity to educate and manages to tell the story without lecturing. Everyone needs to understand that AIDS has not gone away and that it can still happen to anyone. Too many people are unknowingly living with it and spreading it. One might hope that after reading this book, teens will be slower to judge and quicker to believe the realistic dangers of what can happen after even one unprotected sexual experience. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Simon & Schuster, 224p., $15.95. Ages 15 to 18."
C. J. Bott (VOYA, April 2004 (Vol. 27, No. 1))
  MyraC | Oct 11, 2007 |
While this book was a good read about the secrecy and prejudice that often surrounds a family affected by HIV, I wish it would have explored more of Emma's emotions about her diagnosis rather than focusing so much on Leyla's reaction to events. ( )
  ShannonMDE | Feb 12, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689866119, Hardcover)

People don't want to talk about it. they're scared they might catch it....nobody realizes that there are people like emma out there who have just had a bit of bad luck from one careless mistake.
From The Beat Goes On

At fifteen shy Leyla looks up to her sixteen-year-old cousin, Emma. Beautiful, confident, and popular with boys, Emma seems to have it all. But when Emma learns that she's HIV positive after having unprotected sex just once, Leyla must be the strong one. Supporting her cousin through all the changes, even teaching music to kids in Emma's support group, Leyla promises to keep it all a secret. But when Leyla's gorgeous new boyfriend thinks condoms are optional, and Emma's health begins to decline, Leyla realizes people will never be safe unless they are aware. Will she find the courage to speak out and make people understand?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Fifteen-year-old Leyla has always looked up to her outgoing cousin, Emma, but when Emma learns she is HIV positive after having unprotected sex jut once, Leyla must be the strong one and support her cousin.

» see all 2 descriptions

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