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Exploring the angst and drama of teenage life
“The life of a teen is very difficult. We go through so many changes and it is a time when we are mostly misunderstood or even ignored,” said young author Chris-Ann Graham.
Graham’s recently published first novel, Misunderstood—By a Single Twist of Fate, deals with the complications that are a part of teenage life.
The 18-year-old wrote the book when she was 13 and is currently working on several more short novels she intends to publish in the future.
In an interview with the Guardian, a confident Graham said some of the book was inspired by true events which took place at her secondary school.
And although she didn’t endure a great deal of teenage drama herself, she was able to draw on the experiences of several of her friends.
Misunderstood—By A Single Twist of Fate highlights the issues of teenage pregnancy, sexuality and sex, abandonment, coping with family breakups, single parenthood, peer pressure and teen popularity.
“I have always enjoyed writing and when I started writing the book it didn’t have a specific direction. But things really got clear when I found out a classmate of mine was pregnant. She got pregnant for a considerably older man and dropped out of school because of all the drama.
“We were all very concerned because it was a very tough and unfamiliar path for her,” she said.
Graham looked at the way rumours about the pregnancy caused a stir among students and she felt it was the most appropriate vehicle to use in the book to accurately reveal the troubles teens face.
“It’s really a book that both teens and parents can read together. It addresses every taboo subject that is rarely discussed with teens,’’ said Graham.
She said the book also showcases how relationships and friendships are forged through people’s imperfections.
This is illustrated by the five main characters; Ajay, Jamie, Brooklynn, Dakota and Tristan. All five were initially strangers to each other but by a sudden twist of fate they become friends through their trials.
“I am currently working on a sequel because of the feedback I have received. Many readers want to know how life continued for these teenagers as they became young adults,” said the UTT Performing Arts student.
Graham said the book, which is published by AuthorHouse, is available online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and also locally at Metropolitan Book Store at Capital Plaza, Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain.
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