“Skyler & Kina” by Michael C. Barrett

“Skyler & Kina” by Michael C. Barrett 663 1024 Reader Views Kids

Skyler & Kina

Michael C. Barrett
Independently Published (2023)
ISBN:  979-8869987051
Reviewed by Megan Weiss for Reader Views (02/2024)

“Skyler & Kina” is the third book in Michael C. Barrett’s Little Bram series.  Skyler Bram is excited to start her Junior year at Regent High along with her sister, Kina Dunlap.  In the honeymoon phase of a new relationship with her first girlfriend, Bailey, and armed with a throng of loyal, passionate friends, she is ready for anything the crazy year might throw at her.  Whether it is school dances, learning how to stand up for herself, or working at her parents’ video store, it seems like there is nothing she cannot handle and that everything is as it should be.  As any teenager comes to learn, however, all good things must come to an end sometimes, even if you could have never imagined that end coming.

“Skyler & Kina” is the best installment in the Little Bram series so far, in my opinion.  Each book seems to get better, and I am always struck by how relatable the series is.  Whether it’s a reader the same age as our teen characters or a millennial dreading the slow oncoming of the dreaded 3-0, the pop culture references, and high school drama create an atmosphere that is both familiar and nostalgic.  It reminds me of a tamer version of “Degrassi: The Next Generation” or “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”  Barrett’s series tackles controversial, yet crucial subjects that are ever present in the lives of teens and young adults these days, but still tend to be thought of as taboo by some parents, right-wing extremists, and school boards.  He does it in a way that hits the target, yet spares some of the graphic, gory details that some of today’s books, television shows, and movies like to over-emphasize. 

“Skyler & Kina” is a slow-burn read that eases you in and then ramps up in intensity as the pages turn and readers get further embroiled in Skyler’s and Kina’s problems and triumphs.  Watching Skyler slowly transform from a shy, reserved girl to a young woman who, though still slightly cringes at overly mushy emotions and displays of affection, is becoming more comfortable with embracing her own confidence.  I can only imagine what Michael C. Barrett might have in store for readers should there be future Little Bram books, such as, say, for senior year? I encourage teen and young adult readers to pick up not only “Skyler & Kina,” but all three books in the Little Bram series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.