Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer (MG)

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer. Jennifer Gennari. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 119 pages.

Unlike some people, Lake Champlain was a friend I could count on. I knew her every mood--sometimes she was flat like a cookie sheet, and other times she was whipped up like meringue on a butterscotch pie. That was the way I felt, too. Ever since Eva had moved in with Mom and me last month, I was as changeable as the lake.

June Farrell isn't quite having a perfect summer. Her mom's girlfriend, Eva, has moved in with them. And soon afterwards the two announce their plans to get married--Vermont's new civil union law has just been put in place. June isn't the biggest Eva fan. Sure she wants her Mom to be happy. But if she's honest, June doesn't quite feel comfortable around Eva, at least not yet. There is some personality clashing going on...

And the town's mood has definitely changed in recent months. There is a campaign, a movement, to "take back Vermont" and to undo what's been done. There are many in the town who are not exactly thrilled with Vermont's new law, and who feel it is their right to let this be known. Mainly through putting up signs and flyers about their campaign to "take back Vermont." But also through distributing a list of businesses owned and operated by gays so that those businesses can be boycotted in the future.

June is embarrassed that her mom's business is on that list. And that they are temporarily at least losing some of their customers. And she's also not thrilled that some of her friends parents are part of this campaign. That is that their political views do not match up with her family's. She doesn't want to lose friends because of this. But at the same time, she doesn't know if she's still welcome. She doesn't feel comfortable when her friends' parents express their views on homosexuality. Everything seems so complicated now, whereas just a few months ago, things seemed to be going so well.

This book isn't just about family drama and a tension-filled town. It is also about pies and the joy of baking.

Read My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer
  • If you're looking for lgbt books for elementary age children; the book is about how an eleven year old handles having two moms planning a wedding/civil union.
  • If you're looking for a little politics in your fiction;
  • If you're looking for books with young heroines who love to bake

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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