Quick, bite-sized reviews of fast, enjoyable reads!
A penny for thoughts, a snappy two-cent reflection!
Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
Published: October 2010
Genre: young adult, humor, contemporary
Summary: Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type. On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up. Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?) Six weeks of parent-free freedom. BOY freedom. Freedom of expression… cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, the theatre!!
Mini Review: I read Louise Rennison’s “Georgia Nicholson” series when I was about 14, border middle school and high school. And I remember cracking up over the language and Britishisms and general clumsiness of the characters. You can expect all the same with this new series, following Georgia’s cousin Tallulah! Tallulah attends a performing arts college in northern England for several weeks in the summer, making friends, learning how to improv in all forms of art, and (of course) navigating the world of boys. If you’re looking for something quirky and a good laugh, this is the book for you.
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
Published: May 2014
Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance
Summary: Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back. And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. They’re sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game. How do you figure out the person you’re meant to be with if you’re still figuring out the person you’re meant to be?
Mini Review: Every once in a while, you need that book that is fun and enjoyable for exactly what it is. I normally avoid “I need to get my boyfriend back!” books because I find the MCs to be conniving and a little selfish. Lainey is just that, but only at first. She begins to open her eyes to the fact this break-up was a good thing, that she can grow independently from what others expect her to be. I liked that she took control of her situation even when it was a huge risk to her “old” self. It was unselfishly done. Micah is good for her, not in that he’s the complete opposite of Jason but that he never told Lainey how to behave or what she should say — he instead helped her reflect, gave her room to grow. Micah is a good reminder for her to recall what she was like pre-Jason. Bianca, too. Gosh, I loved Bianca, Lainey’s best friend. Bianca was pre-, during-, and post-Jason, the one constant in Lainey’s life, and the one who believed in Lainey the most to come to her senses at her own pace. So patient and understanding. Plus, Art of War? Genius! The book grew on me, tropes and all. A good, quick, “reads like candy” read.