Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays, Bibliophiles!

Sorry I haven't gotten a new book review up in the last couple of weeks - I've been busy during this Happiest Time of the Year! ;)

I will say that I heartily recommend the Lois Lowry trilogy: The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger, and believe them to be fascinating and stunning in all their sci-fi/dystopia glory.

Also, if you're into star-crossed romance, scandals, and a historical setting where the girls get to wear awesome dresses (1899-1900), check out The Luxe series: The Luxe, Rumors, and Envy. Yes, there's a final book out called Splendor - but I haven't read it yet! These books make for fun, fast reading!

So - I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

See you in 2010!

Wishing you all get piles of books under the tree,

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stage Fright

Stage Fright is Meg Cabot's fourth entry in her middle-grade series Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls.

This time around, Allie's class at her Elementary school is putting on a play - and Allie is so ready to portray Princess Penelope, the starring role. Only problem? One of her best friends, Sophie, also wants the role. Can she beat out her best friend without ruining her friendship? And will Allie's mom's newfound celebrity status help Allie become as famous as she suddenly desires?

Now, I read and readily enjoyed both books 1 and 2 (Moving Day and The New Girl), but hadn't gotten a chance yet to read Best Friends and Drama Queens (the third book in the series), which had me a bit worried when I started Stage Fright. But - no worries! Stage Fright, though surely relished to the maximum when read in complete order, was still extremely fun and easy to catch up on!

In fact, Meg Cabot's trademark hilarious humor was in full blast in this middle-grade book. I can't help but be flabbergasted at just how realistically Meg Cabot captures the voice of a 4th grade girl. It's truly amazing - and certainly entertaining!

Now, the message of Mrs. Hunter's (Allie's teacher) play is environmental awareness and the benefits of recycling - I'll admit that I sometimes felt that some of the lines of the play and talk of Princess Penelope in the Realm of Recycling (name of the play) got a little heavy-handed for my taste. But, happily, that didn't last too long.

Weaved through a lot of funny, true-to-life dialogue and a surprisingly page-turning plot (at least for me, lol), there manages to be quite a few great lessons on friendship, rivalry, and making the best of what you've got. Yet it never felt like a lecture at all. The exuberant, amusing plot was fully formed all on its own.

What with Allie's enormously unique personality and her awesome family (I love Uncle Jay), Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls continues to be a ton of fun with this latest edition: Stage Fright.

And remember - I'm certainly not in 4th grade. So, pick it up - no matter what age you are!