Sunday, February 03, 2013

Lemonade Mouth Puckers Up

Lemonade Mouth Puckers UpHughes, Mark Peter. Lemonade Mouth Puckers Up.
13 November 2012, Delacorte
Copy received from Young Adult Books Central and reviewed there.

This sequel to Lemonade Mouth (book, 2007; movie, 2011) finds the quirky band still doing local gigs and enjoying themselves. Told from multiple view points, we reconnect with Olivia, Wen, Stella, Charlie and Mo as they plan on a rather boring summer, only to have their lives become very complicated when legendary agent Earl Decker wants to sign them. He has a vision for the band, and they are happy enough to be made over with funky new clothes, and thrilled to be given more exposure, even though they decline to continue in a talent competition because they declare publicly that the judges are mean. They are less thrilled with shilling for a brand of chapstick, especially when the ad airbrushes all of their flaws. When the band complains to Decker, he says that in order to get publicity, they need to fully embrace his vision. They don't, however, and contact a talk show host to air their song about the phony ad. While this gets them in trouble with Decker, it makes them an overnight YouTube sensation, and they feel that they have been true to their own vision of the band. There are lots of other things going on with families and friends that add interest to this book.
Strengths: I liked the main idea of this-- the band had its own vision and wasn't willing to give it up even in order to be famous. There are very few books about rock bands, and it is something that middle grade readers are interested in. Even though the characters are high schoolers, this would be fine for middle school. A lot of clever turns of phrase, and the songs are so much fun I almost want to check out the videos.
Weaknesses: I had a lot of trouble following the multiple view points, and there was a lot of information to process.Also, the first book in the series seems to be out of print. Must investigate. This could stand alone.

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