Monday, September 22, 2008

Personal Identity

Doesn't everyone assume that everyone is watching all the time, and cares deeply what our hair looks like? In fact, everyone is so busy worrying about what their own hair looks like that they pay little attention to others. But I know that only because I'm old. The Market, by J.M. Steele, feeds this insecurity by creating a web site that rates every girl in Kate's high school and comments about her social worth. When Kate finds out that she is 71 out of 140, she tries to improve her social standing. There are pitfalls along the way, but everything works out in the end. Some might consider this trite, but I liked it, and my 9th grader is enjoying it. The message that Kate was able to become more popular by changing her appearance and actions, but that it wasn't worth it in the end resonated with me somehow.

Kate Brian's Fake Boyfriend was a little fluffier, but I like anything by this author (who also writes as Kieran Scott). LOVE the cover. When Isabelle is finally dumped by the boyfriend who has been bad news all along, her friends try desperately to keep her from going back to him-- the create a "fake" myspace account and get Isabelle interested in "Brandon". They have to find a real boy to play the part, and then things become complicated. I liked that the friends knew the boyfriend was not healthy for their friend, and it was pure fun to see how all of the romances worked out. Pleasant way to spend the afternoon.
Meacham's A Fairy's Guide to Understanding Humans seemed a bit young, and much sillier than the other book-- A Midsemester's Night's Dream, which I keep on hand with Banks' The Fairy Rebel for girls who don't like fantasy but have to read it. Even the cover on the Guide looks younger. Probably will pass.
Catherine Creedon's Blue Wolf (2003) was okay, but probably not enough werewolves for the werewolf fans. The first half of the book deals mainly with a boy and his "aunt" living in the wilderness. It seems out of print, and I can't find the sequels mentioned on the jacket, so I imagine this just did not do as well as hoped.


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