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“Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.” More
Summary: Sophomore year at St. Hillary's isn't starting out much better than last year. Mia is the understudy for Marian the lead femail role in The Music Man ... with Tim (her Ex) also part of the production. Then there's driving lessons with Jake ... her childhood crush (another Ex); and Eric, who she is currently infatuated with. Being around these guys is bad enough, but when Mia learns that Two-timing Tim is teaching her brother how to treat girls, she decides to step in. But does she get too close to that old flame? This is a chapter book for teenaged girls. It has potential as a high-low book.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 and up
Adult Reader Reaction: I laughed my way through this book. There are lots of great vignettes - particularly driving lessons with the school janitor! Overall, though, I have mixed feelings. If the book is to be a complete parody of teen life (a la Airplane), then it works just fine. If it's supposed to be a story about teen life, with a "real" character, it falls short. Mia (who is suppose to be our hero -?) comes off as wishy-washy ... which to me is worse than shallow. Jake is instantly annoying and as a stereotype he gets old very fast.
Pros: Kids will see themselves - and their peers - in the day-to-day lives of this ensemble cast of teens.
Cons: The characters seem to be "competing" for the reader's attention rather than working together.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The story moves quickly and there are lots of fun moments.
Educational Themes: This is a book meant for recreational reading.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - humor, friendship
Date(s) Reviewed: May 2010
Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found at the time of this review. See reader feedback at barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.