Panama by Shelby Hiatt
Shelby Hiatt
Houghton Mifflin
Release Date:

Rating (0 - 10 scale)

Age Level
young adult

Flamingnet Content Rating
Content Rating

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Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer  CMy
When recruiters of the Panama Canal send for Miss Hailey's father to be an overseer of the railroads for the construction of the canal, he can hardly resist. So when Miss Hailey finally turns fifteen, they pack their belongings and leave their small Dayton home beside the Wright bothers and head off to the tropical lands of Panama, promising to return in three years after the construction of the canal is finished. Her dad introduces her to an interesting fellow named Harry and that's when her real adventures in Panama begin. Going with Harry on his enumerating trips, she meets a very unique Hispanic worker named Federico, who has the job of pick and shovel. Throughout the three years that she's there, she and Federico get closer than she could have ever imagined and in more ways than one. Although she craves the time that she spends with Federico, there is still one question looming in her mind; when the canal is finished, will she and Federico leave each other for good or is there more in store for them in the years to come? Is this fate that has brought them together or a lucky misfortune?

The beginning was very good and kept me interested to the point where I just couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. After about midway through though, the story really started to drag on and became dull and monotonous and I became bored and lost interest in reading it. It was very repetitive, where a lot of the same stuff and events happened; I was really hoping for a turn of events and something huge and exciting to happen but what ended up happening was hardly thrilling at all. I just wanted to finish it. Many small chapters made it feel like the book was progressing well throughout the story, which was good if you only had a few minutes to read because the many chapters allowed for a lot of great opportunities for places to stop at; but it also meant that not quite as much detail was provided for each new event. I definitely did not like or approve of the main girl's lying and deceitful behavior, definitely to her parents. She would not be a good role model for anyone, especially not to the teenage girls this novel was geared towards. The ending was very confusing and I'm not sure if it was the girl speaking or her mother. I'm also curious as to why the author did not give the main character a name. I would recommend Panama by Shelby Hiatt to mature readers only because it deals with a lot of sexual and mature themes and behaviors.

There was a lot of sexual content.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Upper Strasburg, PA USA


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