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I’m pleased to say that I have just returned from a very successful trip back to Upper Lake High School.  I was there to speak with the students who had read my revised manuscript, as well as to several other classes that had requested to participate in my pilot program for teens.

I received a substantial amount of feedback on the book from the students by way of an opinion survey I had their teacher conduct in the classes.  I requested that she target the 14-16 age range (the heart of my audience) to see what they thought.  I had her explain that they were to be brutally honest, that the survey could be anonymous if they so chose and that I wanted their candid and straightforward feedback on the material.  Some of the results are below.  I have included several responses to underscore that the general sentiment expressed was not a one-off or something shared by only a few of the young readers.  Needless to say, I am thrilled at what the kids had to say.

I also conducted a parent meeting in the evening, which was well-received by those in attendance.  I had several students volunteer to talk with me on-camera, and plan to produce a second video for posting on my site.  I’m excited about bringing other schools into the program for the next school year.

How can you help?  By spreading the word to others, including teachers, administrators and organizations that might be interested in participation.  Send them to my website, www.gildaevans.com, to begin with.  From there they can contact me directly and I will gladly forward more information.

And now, the survey responses directly from the target audience.  They are unedited, and therefore include all the typos, misspellings and grammatical errors that make them genuine.  Enjoy!

What is your overall response to the book? What is your most meaningful takeaway from the read? Do you feel that it is something that others (both teen and parent) should read and why?

My overall response was that it gave valuable insight to problems that aren’t always talked about in public. I definitely think that parents should read this, but the way parents handle certain situations could make its own book. The way it is now is perfect for people who don’t want to read a lot, for the ‘soundbite’ generation.

I liked the book. You took what was out there and polished it to be the best it could be in an easy to read format. I would suggest this book above most in this genre for that reason. Teens and parents could both read this book for those reasons.

I liked the book and I think that i will be able to take away something of value from it. It was different from the stuff we have been hearing all our live and I think will have a large influence on teenagers. I think it would also benefit parents to read the book because it will help them guide their child through whatever struggles they might be having.

S´Life brought me to the realization that everyone is or has gone through some type of negative experience. Each different topic created discussions within my class and I never had an idea of what my classmates actually felt. Many of the topics were subjects that I related to and the advice given did convey the idea that I am not alone with my problems.

Overall, this book was a great learning experience. I thought that this book was a great insight into teenage minds. It was an emotional ride through out the book, but, I feel as if it has opened some of my fellow classmates eyes. This is defiantly something that both teens and parents should read. It will most likely open their eyes too, and they will soon realize that everybody struggles with different problems, and learn how to deal with each one.

The meaningful takeaway for me was the topic “Till Death Do Us Part,” because my Grandpa Corky died a couple years ago, and it still hurts, but it’s getting easier. Just like in the book, I went through a tremendous loss, but I know everything happens for a reason, and I’m getting a little bit better everyday. I think both teens and parents should read this book, it’s a great way to get a better understanding of us teenagers, and it can help plenty of teenagers who are going through obstacles in their life.

I have a very positive response of S’Life, it’s very beneficial which is contrary of my prediction of the book before I read it. There is definitely tips and tricks to take away from reading it, and you’d be improving yourself, and the relationship you have with others if you do choose to read it.

My overall response was surprise at how much I actually liked it because I don´t typically find interest in books similar to this one. I think the best thing I took from the book is that I’m not alone in the situations I have been in. I think the book is something others should read because it gives an idea on how to work through different situations.

My overall response to the book was I really enjoyed reading it. As a teen myself I could relate to most of the topics that were displayed in front of me. It was also a very eye opening experience to be able to see the students around me open up and talk about their personal experience regarding the topic as well. My most meaningful takeaway from this book would have to be when it spoke about the breakup experience, because I went through a really bad breakup not too long ago and it had a massive impact on my life. I was very depressed and it seemed as if I had lost a great portion of who I thought I was as an individual, because I would always run to him for everything and kind of stayed in his shadow. So when we read about how to pretty much cope with this kind of heartache I really could relate to it and even think to myself what I would of done differently after the breakup. I feel that many teens (especially girls) would and will love reading this, its almost like a guide through life. I also think parents would enjoy reading this, gives them an inside look at problems their teens may be facing, and how they can help them or even just take some weight off.

I do think others should read this book it has amazing advice that is given. The book was great, my most meaningful take away was chapter 6 it was about a teen struggling from school to get into college, i can relate to this book.

What do you think about the way the book was written? (ex. language used, tone of the chapters). Do you like the way the chapters are formatted? (ex. the different sections, chapter length). Are the checklists at the end helpful?

The book was written in short and straight to the point passages about different issues teens go through. It had a “Scoop” section. It would then talk about what the best decision is and the possible outcome. It would then provide an example situation with a fictional teen, or sometimes real people met by the author. Then it would give a hint for the parents. About every chapter is 2-4 pages and I liked that the chapters were short but still descriptive and provided great knowledge. The checklists at the end are very helpful as you can write those down after you read the book and make sure you are on track.

The way in which each topic was addressed made getting information out very simple. It was straight to the point and organized accordingly to each different subject, as to not bore the reader.

I personally loved the way it was written, being someone that despises reading i could actually find myself listening and following along because it was understandable and you didn’t use all of these boring statistics and unneeded fluff , it was more a one on one conversation and it was good.

Overall I love how the book was written, it feels like we are being talked to not talked at and that is they key to making a teen listen to you. In this book our issues are summed up in short paragraphs that fit into our attention span, and those problems are made as real as they are in our heads and don’t make us feel like ignorant children.

Honestly, I loved the way the book was written. Her language was superb, she executed everything perfectly, and the chapters all followed the same format. Which, I found pretty neat. Each chapter was the perfect length, and, the checklists are very helpful. In fact, I am going to be using the checklists in my life.

The way the book is written is great; I wouldn’t change it in any way. The language is easy to understand for teens, speaking from the teenage point of view. The tone in every chapter is very conversation like, making teens want to engage in the book. If it were formal, it could be uncomfortable to read about the very serious issues. The checklist at the end was helpful because it gave you a last glance at what you had already read about.

The book itself was written very well, I especially like the fact that the author added humorous jokes, side comments, and of course serious moments. It wasn’t all too serious, but it wasn’t all jokes. I don’t think readers are going to be getting bored reading this book. It was a very clever way the chapters were formatted, got minor issues to really life changing topics. The checklists at the end were very helpful, refreshed your mind about the chapters that were read previously and the recent chapters read.

I would love to connect with you on other media, too! Find me on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/gildaevansauthor or on twitter at www.twitter.com/gildaevans, @gildaevans.  

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