Sunday, July 15, 2012
19 July 2012, Speak
Simone is "the weird fat girl" in the wake of her mother's death (at her birth), her father's workaholicism and shiny new girlfriend, and her general inability to deal with the intricacies of high school life. She has retreated behind her hair, her extra large vintage concert t shirts and copious amounts of snack foods. When her father's girlfriend (who has an odd obsession with mirrors and red lipstick, as well as feeding Simone apples even though she's deathly allergic) takes all of her snack stash and Simone tries to get into a pottery class but ends up in Zumba classes instead, Simone starts losing weight and feeling a little better about herself. When she has to spend the summer with her college aged brother and his six roommates, she starts to become more interested in dressing well and in dating a boy from her school, Jason, whose father is a famous film maker and whose mother is in her Zumba class. Is he really the boy for her? And will Simone's trandformation stick?
Strengths: I liked the depth of the characters-- Simone's fascination with vintage French fashion, the shop run by Brad, even the somewhat flimsy character of the "evil stepmother". This was a great "beach read" and made me really happy. I love Palmer's Lucy Parker series, as well as her fairy tale retellings.
Weaknesses: About halfway through the book, when Simone moved into her brother's house, the fairy tale aspect took an intrusive turn. I think this was sue to the difficulty of incorporating the seven dwarves. Once I met all of them, things speeded up a bit.