Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Book reviews!

Here are some reviews that I wrote for Penguin recently. These are all Young Adult books that will be coming out this winter.

Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies
by Erin Dionne
Young Adult Fiction

This is a witty, angsty tale of self-esteem issues and teenage misery. Celeste is overweight and in (junior??) high school, two things which should never occur simultaneously. When her Aunt Doreen enters her in the Miss HuskyPeach contest, Celeste is in danger of becoming the spokesperson for heavy girls across the country. She does everything she can to sabotage her chances of winning—including dieting in the hopes that she’ll be too skinny to compete. As Celeste struggles through a series of humiliating incidents at school, loses her best friend to the skinny blonde social princess, attends fittings for a heinous bridesmaid dress, and meets other HuskyPeach contestants, she finds herself becoming more comfortable in her own skin. This is a funny, smart, and eminently believable story that had me smiling from beginning to end.

If I Stay
by Gayle Forman
Young Adult Fiction

In an instant, Mia’s life becomes something she no longer recognizes. All of the agonizing decisions that came with her last year of high school are reduced to one simple choice, and she must look back at her life to determine which things are most important to her. Alternating between past and present narratives, Forman builds Mia’s life piece by piece. Mia becomes much more than a character—she is a girl with a family, friends, a great love, and an incredible talent. A roller coaster of emotion, I found myself struggling with the same choice that Mia must make. I couldn’t put this book down.

Because I Am Furniture
by Thalia Chaltas
Young Adult Fiction

Dark and gripping, Because I Am Furniture is a novel told in poems. Its heroine, Anke, lives in a household where every member of her family is abused by her father—except for her. Anke is torn between her fear of her father and her envy of her siblings who, though they are bruised, are at least noticed by their father. At school, Anke joins the volleyball team and finds an unexpected family in her teammates. Her situation at home becomes harder to ignore as she finds her voice on the court and in the halls. Thalia Chaltas brings Anke to life through her spare poetry, creating stark contrasts and weaving complicated situations with just enough words.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sweet review! I'm glad you enjoyed MODELS.

-Erin Dionne

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for "Models" Thanks for the review. =))

Melissa Walker said...

MODELS sounds great!