Friday, 6 March 2015


Title: Polarity In Motion
Author: Brenda Vicars
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Release Date: December 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Fifteen-year-old Polarity Weeks just wants to live a normal life, but with a mother diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, that’s rarely easy. Her life gets exponentially more disastrous when her sixth-period history classmates start ogling a nude picture of her on the Internet. Polarity would never have struck such a shameless pose, but the photo is definitely of her, and she’s at a complete loss to explain its existence.

Child Protective Services yanks her from her home, suspecting her parents. The kids at school mock her, assuming she took it herself. And Ethan, the boy she was really starting to like, backpedals and joins the taunting chorus. Surrounded by disbelief and derision on all sides, Polarity desperately seeks the truth among her friends. Only then does she learn that everyone has dark secrets, and no one’s life is anywhere near normal.

Amazon UK


Brenda Vicars has worked in Texas public education for many years. Her jobs have included teaching, serving as a principal, and directing student support programs. For three years, she also taught college English to prison inmates.

She entered education because she felt called to teach, but her students taught her the biggest lesson: the playing field is not even for all kids. Through her work, she became increasingly compelled to bring their unheard voices to the page. The heartbeat of her fiction emanates from the courage and resiliency of her students.

Brenda’s hobbies include reading, making things out of re-purposed wood, pulling weeds in the garden, and going to Zumba classes.


What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Polarity in Motion: Polarity’s life unravels when her nude picture hits the Internet.

Who is your publisher?
Red Adept Publishing

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book which would you be? and why?
I would be Ethan.  I love his outlook on life. I love the way he has common sense answers for complex questions.  While I was writing the novel, he became a breathing person—speaking to me, and when he said, “I guess people just don’t see their own way of seeing,” he captured my heart.

How long have you been writing, and who or what inspired you to write?
Polarity in Motion is my first published novel, but I’ve been writing for my entire life.  When I was six, I wrote my first poem entitled, “My Little Sister Vicki Is Very, Very Tricky.”
As an educator I get to work with young people, and the courage I’ve witnessed teens exhibit humbles me. Some of the obstacles that kids deal with would bring me to my knees. Polarity in Motion is fiction, but the struggle in the book is real.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Absolutely!  I work with Ron Seybold’s Amherst monthly writing group.  There are about five members who submit 20 pages monthly.  We all review everyone’s work before each meeting. At the meeting, we discuss the strengths and weakness of each piece.  Polarity in Motion got started in that group. 
In addition, I have two willing author friends, Claire Ashby and Elizabeth Buhmann, who read and critique my manuscripts.  Claire, a romance novelist, has lots of ideas for revving up relationships, and Elizabeth, a mystery writer, helps me tighten the plot.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
The main character, Polarity, explains her own name early in the novel when she notices kids gossiping about her. “Since no other…person on the planet has my stupid name, Polarity—bestowed in a classic borderline moment by my ever-unraveling mother—I gave up hoping they weren’t talking about me.”
The main characters, Polarity and Ethan, had their names from the first instant that I imagined the story—Polarity, for reasons her mother demonstrates in the novel, and Ethan because I love his name—like him, it evokes strength and trustworthiness. 
I gave the other characters names that I like, and during the final edit, I plugged in my own, real-life children’s names for minor characters! (So far my real kids haven’t commented about this!  Not sure whether or not they like it!)
Most of the story is set in the fictitious towns of Garcia and Beauty, similar to places where I lived in South Texas.  Why Garcia and Beauty?  I like the sound of them, and there are no real towns in Texas with those names.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I definitely have the characters’ traits strongly entrenched from the beginning.  As the story evolves, my plot may develop in different directions from my original plan, but the characters are consistent.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I knew from the first instant what Polarity needed to go through, and I knew that Ethan would be a part of her journey.  I had a general idea of how the two of them would reach their destination, but as I began writing, Polarity and Ethan took over and “acted out” the story.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?
Let’s begin by saying what does not make a book a bestseller.  I don’t think it is plot, style, genre, setting, or message.  I think what makes a book great, is having a character that we can authentically relate to and care about.  It’s that elusive quality that Jane Eyre, Lisbeth (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Edward (Twilight), and Augustus (Fault in Our Stars) all have—an appeal that leaps from the page to our hearts.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I love books. There are so many writers whose work I love. But if I must name only one, it is Maya Angelou in her memoir, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.  Her voice has a depth of truth that I wish I could bring to my own pages.

Where can readers follow you?

Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:


Approaching this one, I was expecting a contemporary YA/NA. It should be an interesting, read as I imagine with the technology and the applications the youth of today have access to that this could actually happen.

I received a free e-copy of this book by Red Adept Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
The cover depicts the hands of a teen boy and girl. Who from reading the book I would say are the hands of Polarity and Ethan.
So the book begins on what is initially a normal day at school for Polarity, she isn't part of the "in" crowd so doesn't get out of her seat and go over to Danny and his mates to see what they are all staring at and giggling over, on his computer screen. When the teacher returns to the classroom and takes a look at Danny's computer everything drastically changes for Polarity. The teacher, Mr Hill instructs Polarity to report to the heads office. When Polarity tries to comply she is told continually told that she needs a hall pass. Naturally she becomes anxious and thinking maybe something could be wrong with her parents she decides to leave school and go home. Unfortunately for her she is apprehended and returned the the principals office. Finally she is seen by Mrs Sanchez the principal who asks Polarity about the picture everyone had been looking at on Danny's computer. Obviously Polarity has no clue what picture is being spoken about. The police have been called and the child protection services, everything rapidly changes for Polarity, it's so difficult to get her mind around what is happening. To make comprehending everything that is going on even harder Polarity is not allowed to have any contact with her parents at all. Polarity tries to explain that she didn't pose for the photograph. The photograph depicts a nude Polarity who looks as if she is dancing, posing and laughing for the camera.  Polarity has no knowledge of when this happened or how it happened. As a quieter girl she is mortified that people have seen this photograph and her first instinct is to want her parents support. However that is denied as Polarity's parents are immediately under suspicion from the Police and child protection services.
Polarity is whisked away from school to an emergency foster home. It's in the middle of the night that Polarity speaks to another girl in the home who gives her what turns out the best advice ever. Polarity and the girl create a quite strong bond even though they don't actually see each other as the discussion they have is in the dark, but they really do make a connection. It is a non judgmental fledgling friendship maybe that connection could be explored more in another book?  The following day Polarity is handed over to her grandmother. Whilst Polarity enjoys spending time with her grandmother she misses her parents. To make life even more difficult Polarity's mother has mental health issues where she see's thing as black or white. So there are times within the book that Polarity's mother seems to believe the worst of her daughter.
There are some great characters in this book as well as the main one Polarity, there's the young girl at the emergency foster home, there's Ethan they guy from school who Polarity has a crush on, who turns out to be a big help to Polarity when she is trying to work out who sent the original photograph. 
This book deals with the whole subject of bullying from quite a lot of different angles and really well too. There's also unexpected friendships along the way as well as covering the mental health issues too. I felt really drawn into this book, I wanted to solve the mystery of how the photograph was made and spread around the school so quickly. A few times I thought maybe I had solved the mystery, and though I was on the right track there was still a twist or two before everything becomes clear.
So did I enjoy the book? I really did yes. I could seriously go on and on about this book. So I have tried hard not to reveal too much as you need to go through the whole incident that the book is based on with the character Polarity. Would I recommend the book? I definitely recommend this book. Would I want to read another book with these characters ie like this be part of a series? Yes, I think I'd perhaps like to discover the stories of Ethan, or those other characters at the emergency foster home. Would I want to read other titles by this author? Yes please!

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