Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Reading

Vivian Vande Velde's 2002 Heir Apparent was quite fun, and one of the few fantasy books one of my avid readers has not read! While Giannine is in a total immersion virtual reality game, the equipment is damaged by protesters who don't think the games are healthy for children. If Giannine can't make it through all the levels of the game in time, she may die for real. I liked the thought processes that she had to go through to successfully get through all of the tasks set for her in the quasi-Medieval world where she is made the heir to the throne by the king, angering her half siblings and a lot of other people who try to kill her. The mix of Medieval world and technology was fun.

Cameron Dokey's How NOT To Spend Your Senior Year was a little unbelievable in its premise, but ended up working, and was very thought provoking. Jo O'Connor is used to moving a lot, but when she ends up in Seattle, she falls in love with Alex, likes the house they live in, and wants to stay. However, her father has to move again, and move quickly, because he is a witness to a murder. After faking their deaths, the two move across town, where Jo becomes Claire and joins the newspaper staff at her new school. When her attempt to visit a friend at her old school ends with the rumor that Jo's ghost is at large, her new friends discover
"Claire's" resemblance to Jo, and send her in a school reporter exchange to interview people about the haunting. As I said, unbelievable, but done in an intriguing way.
I finally broke down and bought most of Lisi Harrison's The Clique series at the behest of several students. They have circulated well, but the first book was so mean spirited that I still have my apprehensions. In Best Friends For Never, Massie wants Claire to pretend to be friends so that their parents let them have a Halloween party. They also make a bet-- Massie has to go a whole month without shopping, and Claire will have to wear a different outfit every day. When Massie and her friends wear their skimpy Halloween costumes to school, the principal decides that uniforms are the way to go, and holds a design competition. This is slightly less mean, and as I said, the girls love these, but I found them unappealing and unbelievable. I taught at an expensive private school, and the designer name clothing and horrible snooty attitudes were not evident. The appeal may be that the girls are meaner than what the readers are experiencing.


  1. I LOVE Heir Apparent. It's one of my faves that I have in my library.

    HATE The Clique books. Ditto Gossip Girls. There's too much good stuff out there. They see enough of this yuck on TV. On the other hand, at least they're reading SOMETHING!

  2. I love the Clique books, but I find them getting old, with Massie being totally rude and Claire just annoying. Lisi's style is getting a little too cute for me.