I was quick to bump THOUSAND WORDS to the top of my reading pile because of my love for author Jennifer Brown. She has fast become one of my favorite contemporary authors because I love the way she deals with gritty issues in such a head on manner & creates characters that I can really empathize with. Her latest novel delivered everything that I have come to expect from her and while I did long to be a bit more moved emotionally, I came out having met characters that I really connected with in a story that is very relevant in this modern world.Ashleigh was a high school girl who was definitely not without her flaws. From the very beginning of the novel she comes across as someone who has selfish thoughts and is quite susceptible to peer pressure. In these ways I could put myself in her shoes quite easily. I remember being that age and how easy it was to be swayed by the people around you and I could also really connect with her attachment to her first love. I was that girl, I had my first serious boyfriend and he became my world and I quite literally thought that I would never survive without him. As we watch the rocky road that Kaleb and Ash have found themselves on there was a lot that I could latch onto and I think that is due to Brown’s wonderful writing. It’s not flowery or over the top, it is straight and to the point, I really felt as if I was in the head of a teenage girl. At the core of this novel it is really about the decisions that we make and the repercussions those decisions can have on us and our loved ones. Not only does Ashleigh pay the consequences for the photo that she sends out but her parents also face some pretty heavy tribulations. I liked how we got a wide picture of the whole scenario, we didn’t just get a tunnel view of how what happened affected Ash. I did long to see more of the consequences that Kaleb faced, he did a pretty heinous thing in the heat of the moment and ended up in some pretty hot water. We do get to see what has come of him but I would have liked some more resolution to know where he was at the end of the story. I think this is an incredibly relevant story at this point in time and I think it has a very important message. One thing that I truly appreciated was that it didn’t make everything pretty. Even at the end of the story Ash’s life isn’t back to perfect and when we leave her she is definitely still struggling with figuring everything out. I would have been sorely disappointed had everything ended up perfect because life doesn’t usually work like that. She does have a better outlook as she brings some new people into her life and works on relationships of her past. In her community service hours she works after school everyday in a program for teens who create information pamphlets on whatever crime they had committed. I haven’t looked into this too much yet but I hope programs for community service like that really exist because not only is it giving the kids their hours but it’s making them face what they did head on and become more fluent in the issues they are facing. A novel that feels like it could have been ripped from the headlines, THOUSAND WORDS is sure to please fans of issue books and contemporary in general. Jennifer Brown is remaining on my favorites list and I can’t wait to see what topic she tackles next. An Advanced Reader's Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.--You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.