I have to admit: I’ve always found American elections ridiculous. They start campaigning so far in advance it is absolutely insane. They debate all issues dry well before election night and it becomes more performance than promise. And it completely dominates Canadian news, but I digress.
With the current political climate being what it is in the US, it isn’t surprising that writers have taken inspiration. Say hello to “The Wrong Side of Right,” a YA novel that describes an election campaign.
When teenage Kate Quinn’s mom dies that year, she meets her father for the first time. He’s a Republican politician whose running for president. His campaign team turns a potential scandal into a promotional opportunity. Everything changes for Kate when she is thrust into the public eye, campaigns for causes she doesn’t necessarily support, and meets a family she never knew existed.
In an environment where everyone constantly adheres to party policy, it is hard to know who people actually are and Kate is constantly at risk of losing her identity. Should she stand up for what she believes in even if it opposes her father? Should she trust a boy she’s falling for, even if he’s on the wrong political side? Will she ever fit in with her new family if she’s true to herself?
Despite my poor interest in the subject, I found myself immediately swept up in the political drama. There are clear messages about people, politics, and extreme beliefs and how when they mix together there are necessary compromises.
However, this novel doesn’t just talk about political relationships. The strongest relationships are actually about family and friendship. There’s also a strong element of romance if you’re into that, which I am.
Of course, the most interesting part of the novel was the election’s conclusion. How the novel resolves and how the past election resolved and how they compare… well. You’ll have to read “The Wrong Side of Right” to find out what happens. Let’s just say in lieu of recent events the novel’s conclusion is most interesting.