Thursday, September 21, 2006

Super Powers in High School

HOW MY PRIVATE PERSONAL JOURNAL BECAME A BESTSELLER by Julia DeVillers is quite a fun little novel--or "teen fairytale."

Jamie Bartlett, is our heroine, she is your "typical" 14 year old dealing with peer pressure and questions of body image and self esteem. She accidentally becomes an almost overnight celebrity when her "journal" becomes the new IT YA book/novel.

Bartlett invents Isabella--a normal teenage girl who becomes a superhero IS when she sees social injustice. IS fights Myrna and the Evil Clique of Populors--the Backstabbor, the Gossipor, the Insultor, the Fashionistor, the Ostracizor, the Dietor, the Betrayor, the Best Friend Stealor (p. 14, 157). IS's weapon of choice is a flick of the wrist--which sends out rays of positivity.

One of IS's encounters is on page 68...

"Size zero is the only way to be," the Dietor said scornfully. "Why I'd be a negative number if I could!" The Dietor turned around to drink her diet soda and eat her single lettuce leaf. Then she gasped. IS! IS raised her fist and FLICK! the Dietor wasted nothing.

Of course, 90% of the book is not about the invented character of Isabella or IS--but is about Jamie. Jamie despite her success and newfound popularity--still has problems. Just because IS has superpowers doesn't make Jamie's life any easier. She still can't seem to win against the real life cliques she faces every day in high school. Although she does grow in confidence and self esteem as the novel progresses.

Jamie is a likable character--one that is very easy to relate to--no matter how old you are.

The novel is told in first person...with a conversational tone. Jamie addresses the reader as "you" and continually engages the reader. (Which I liked)

I thought this book dealt with real problems and issues in a fun way. While the "overnight" success of Jamie as an author is not quite realistic--the issues and problems she faces are quite real.


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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.)

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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.

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