Review: Trauma Queen by Barbara Dee

Simon and Schuster:Every tween girl knows what it’s like to have a mom who can be a little embarrasing at times. But for Marigold, it goes way beyond embarrassing. Marigold’s single mom is a performance artist, meaning she stages dramatic, wacky performances to express her personal beliefs. Things like wrapping herself in saran wrap for a piece on plastic surgery, or inviting people over in the middle of the night to videotape her sleeping. In fact, Marigold’s mom’s performances caused such a ruckus in their last town that the two of them, along with Marigold’s little sister, have just had to move. Now Marigold’s starting a new school, missing her best friend like crazy, and trying to fit in all over again in the shadow of a mom who’s famous for all the wrong reasons. As if that’s not bad enough, Marigold’s mom takes on a new job–teaching drama at Marigold’s school! Now all the kids know instantly just how weird her mom is, and Marigold’s worried she’ll never be able to have a friendship that can survive her mother.

Read Chapter One online for free!

Oh Mari we so would have been BFFs. I loved everything about this book from the fabulous Barbara Dee. This book showed me that I made the perfect decision in adding more Middle Grade to my reading schedule. Trauma Queen was everything I knew it would be, smart, funny and completely a blast to read.

Marigold is completely mortified by her mother’s job as a performance artist. It was easy to sink into Mari’s mind and her precarious situation. She has to survive a new school without her bestie and even though her mom promised no more antics she completely reneges on her promise and starts a drama club just as Mari was starting to feel good about fitting in.

Grandma is amazing and little sister with her Prairie speak fascination is just completely adorbs.

I love Dee’s easy writing style and her conclusion to this novel. I wouldn’t change a thing!

Thank you to the author for sending me a review copy.

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Review: Blue Moon by Alyson Noel (The Immortals Series)

To me Noel’s second book was stronger than her first. In Evermore the main character Ever annoyed me a bit. She seemed so dependent and weak to me. A bit over annoying and self pitying. Her parents died yes, but the pity party was a bit much.
In Blue Moon Ever is secure in her own skin. Damen and Ever’s relationship is strong and will probably withstand the tests of eternity. Roman a new bad boy in town gives Ever the creeps. Damen, Miles, or Haven notice nothing and even accuse Ever of just not liking new people. Figuring they are right Ever tries to open up to Roman to devestating consequences. Ever begins a race against time to save her friends and her true love. Will the Summerland give her the answers she is looking for?
Ever made some really bad decisions in this book. I would normally slam the book for the turns this took. It gets a bit outlandish, but it all works together well to end the book and makes me anticipate the time when I pick up the third book in the series. I have to know how all of this Damen / Ever stuff works out. If Miles becomes a pop star, if Haven and Josh’s relationship survives.
However what I do not need to see is Ever’s Aunt bumbling through like an idiot. I love YA books where the adults actually have a clue and aren’t complete idiots. Not every teen, or every teen who reads hates their parents. Ever seems to feel gratitude to her Aunt but not much real love going on there.
I missed the presence of Riley but adding the creepy twins Romy and Rayne made me miss her a bit less.
Ever grew up a lot in this book. I was very happy with her development. I would however like to see some development in the other characters in the third book.
If you like Shiver, The Mortal Instruments Series, or The Dark Guardian Series you will like Evermore and Blue Moon.

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Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

After reading Wintergirls(my review), by Laurie Halse Anderson I absolutely had to read more of her work. I chose Speak next because of its message. If it is one thing I learned from reading Wintergirls, it’s that Anderson can make you cringe at the same moment you hungrily page turn for more. Speak wasn’t as disturbing to me as the previous work I read by this author, but it definitely had its own sinister plot that is relevant to what our teenagers go through today. I know some teachers are using this work in their curriculum and I have to commend those who do, especially in middle grades.

The story follows Melinda Sordino through her transition from middle to high school. The summer in between Melinda is at a party, has a drink or two like everyone else and is taken advantage of. She calls the police in a panic, and when her peers find this out they completely ostracize her and haze her daily. Melinda never found a time to tell everyone what really happened to her and over time loses her ability to speak about that night, and to speak a lot in general.

This story takes us through the horror that is teen date rape, especially in the very young scenario. We learn how Melinda tortures herself and learns to feel through art, and begins to heal. The emotions in this store ring true and you feel as if you are reading and actual memoir more than a fiction story. Anderson has the ability to create a world that is so disturbingly delicious that you can’t turn away from the issue she is writing about even though you may want to. I recommend this book to young adults, and adults alike. If we learn to understand the issues that plague society then ignorance cannot prevail and some of these girls can be saved.

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Review: Hunted, House of Night Book 5 by P.C. Cast

I have read all of the House of Night novels, and was super psyched to get my hands on the latest one. The last book left off with such a cliff hanger, I couldn’t wait to sink my mental fangs into this highly anticipated 5th book from P.C. and Kristin Cast. What I got was a disappointing short novel that spent the first 1/4th going over what already has happened, and the rest slowly moving in a way I felt was forced to a conclusion that didn’t make me want to read the next one if there is one.

The House of Night books were never literary genuis. I did however like to read them because you could be done with them in one day, and they moved and flowed well. The story was simple and predictable but fun, a great way to wind down or have some relaxation.

That being said I really think if you have not picking up the first four books is a good idea. You can make the decision for yourself if you want to read the 5th but I don’t recommend wasting the time on it. I am a bit sad to say if there are new books I won’t be reading them. I think this is some kind of classic example of the writers trying to force out one or two more novels out of their money making series when maybe just concluding it would have been best for the memory and resale of the book in later times to new generations of teens.

Again these are just my humble thoughts, why don’t some of you lurkers here on the site (that’s right I see you right there mmhm) give me your ideas, tell me I am right or that I am wrong and why. Mostly I like hearing that I am right, but I love some constructive (constructive being the key word) criticism also. For those who have read the book here are my questions.

  1. Do you feel Zoey has way too many romantic interests that make no sense whatsoever? Stark, Eric, or Heath who do you see her with? For me it’s not a red fledgling.
  2. Aphrodite being human, I think it adds to the chaos of ideas they have and can’t make their mind up where the story is going. Does this annoy you?
  3. They leave again a lot of mystery with the red fledglings and vamps, the secrets Stevie Rae are keeping are in no way revealed, they hint to several things through the novel but cannot seem to tie it into Zoey’s story. Agree?

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