Sunday, August 26, 2012
Ask Amy Green-- Love and Other Drama-Ramas
28 August 2012, Candlewick Press
Amy and her aunt Clover are busy trying to plan Amy's mother's wedding, but her mother is busy writing a memoir with the "Irish Surfing Chef", Finn Hunter, which worries Dave, the mother's fiance. Clover is dating a musician and trying to get on the newspaper staff at Trinity College, but doesn't want to have to deal with one of the other girls on the paper staff who stole her boyfriend. Amy has her own problems-- mostly that her friend Mills is devastated when Bailey, her boyfriend cheats on her. Bailey has a ton of problems, and when Amy accidentally discovers a connection between him and Finn, she tries to help put him on the right path.
Strengths: I love this series, and so do the girls in my school. The covers are appealing and bright, the realistic fiction has a bit of a twist because it is set in Ireland, and the problems are interesting. Love the characters as well.
Weaknesses: This was a little darker than the other books, so seemed a bit overwrought at times. Also, what's the deal with book three only being available in paperback? Not fair!
Morris, Taylor. Hello, Gorgeous: Blowout (#1)
14 April 2011 Grosset and Dunlap
Mickey loves to hang out at her mother's upscale salon, Hello, Gorgeous, so is very excited when she is old enough to be hired as a sweeper. She likes the work, but has a lot of mishaps and feels she isn't doing her job well. Mickey is also having a hard time adjusting to middle school and making friends there. When Lizbeth and Kristen, popular girls in her class, come to the salon, Mickey tries to become friends with them by promising them bottles of their new favorite nail polish, and by sharing gossip that she has heard through listening to other customers. She runs afoul of a new stylist, Devon, this way-- she hears Devon saying she made a customer bald, and spreads this rumor, which results in Devon almost losing her position in the salon. Mickey finally realizes, after she digs herself deep enough, that she needs to come clean to her mother about the theft and the gossip. Luckily, she comes up with an entire that brings positive publicity to Devon and the salon... AND she gets a haircut that makes her hair look like less of a disaster area!
Strengths: This is the first book in a five book series, and will be very popular with girls who like The Cupcake Diaries and the Candy Apple books. I have to admit that this sort of thing is what I like to read best.
Weaknesses: Only available in paperback or prebind. Not great literature, but I thought it was a fairly realistic portrayal of having a difficult experience settling in to middle school.