The narrative opens with high school senior Jaclyn bragging to Katie Mitchell
that she will be going to the homecoming dance with foot ball captain Brian
Edwards. Even as she was bragging to Katie about her date Jaclyn insisted that
Katie must not attend the dance with her childhood friend Alan Thomas. Although
they have not dated; Katie and Alan have been best friends since Kindergarten.
Jaclyn began dating Alan soon after her arrival at the high school during their
Sophomore year, and even though she and Alan no longer date Jaclyn calls him
daily. A huge fight in the hall at school, Alan and Jaclyn named homecoming
royalty and the night ends without undue problem after all.
When Alan gets football scholarships to several southern schools Katie is torn.
She has dreamed of leaving Texas and going to California. Adding to Katie’s
frustration is the fact that her parents now insist that Katie attend school in
Texas. High school ends, and college begins. Frequent group emails and telephone
calls help to keep Katie, Brian, Jaclyn and Alan abreast of each other at
college. Brian moves on to begin a life with an old flame. Jaclyn’s childhood
interest Zack asks Katie out. Old chum Sarah helps keep Katie grounded. When
Alan and Jaclyn finally become engaged Katie finds the courage to step out and
begin a life of her own. Will she be able to make it on her own? Katie doesn’t
know, but she is going to transfer to California and give it a try.
Language use is not typical, but refreshing to read: I liked the lack of
profanity so prevalent among many teens today. While the girls stress over
weight and the boys walk in a bit of a fog when it comes to figuring out what
they really want the characters all seem pretty much as my own kids, nieces and
nephews and the teens at the school where I teach.
Kids tend to face life and problems much differently than most adults, of
course. We adults tend to forget we did the same and with our selective memory
we remember ourselves so adult. While I would not choose the book for pleasure
reading at my age; I did chuckle over many of the situations in which the young
folks thrust themselves.
Not a book for middle grades or we ‘older’ folks, but a book sure to please the
target audience of teens. I am happy to recommend Walking Away From Texas for
the teen pleasure reading library, home school curriculum and public library
It is a short novel sure to please teenaged girls. Filled with perturbation,
typical boyfriend/girlfriend angst and growing up fears Walking Away From Texas
is filled with interesting situations and characters. Katie, Jaclyn, Sarah,
Alan, Brian, and Zack all seem pretty typical of the young people I know. They
express strong opinions, float into and out of relationships with one another
and finally begin to settle into relationships that may actually lead to life