Thursday, August 21, 2008

All Shook Up

Pearsall, Shelley. 2008. All Shook Up.

When you're thirteen, it doesn't take much for you to think your parents are embarrassing. Meet Josh. He normally lives with his mom in Boston, but when his grandmother falls and breaks her hip, Josh is sent to stay with his Dad in Chicago while his mom is off to Florida.

Looking back, I would say everything in my life changed the summer I turned thirteen and my father turned into Elvis.
I'd heard people say thirteen was an unlucky number, and from the very beginning, that seemed to be true. I'd been thirteen for less than twenty-four hours when the phone call came from Florida about my grandma taking a fall on the steps of the Shadyside Episcopal Church and breaking her hip. That same day, somebody swiped my bike from the city pool because, yes--I'd stupidly left it unlocked. And then my mom decided to ship me off to Chicago for four months so she could rush to Florida to take care of my grandma.
Before arriving in Illinois at the end of the summer (which had been a pretty decent summer until I turned thirteen), I didn't know anything about my dad being Elvis. Well, that's not quite true, I'd heard there were people who pretended to be Elvis. You know--sideburns, sunglasses, twisting hips, jiggly legs, and all. But I never would have believed my own dad would become one of them.
Josh's "shock" comes quickly when his Elvis-dad picks him up at the airport. "Trust me, right at that moment, I didn't really want an explanation for why my dad was pretending to be Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll. If you have to choose between standing around with somebody who is being a complete hunka-hunka burning shame in public--or getting as far away from the situation as you can--you take the second option. Always." (12)

Yes, Josh has a few adjustments to make that's for certain. And you can read all about them in All Shook Up.

It was a fun read because you couldn't help but want to listen to Elvis. (I don't know if teens will have this response or not?!) Even though Josh himself is turned off completely by anything and everything Elvis. (Will they like Josh be mortified by the King?)

The writing is good (not great but solidly good). I've always enjoyed Shelley Pearsall's books in the past--her previous books include Trouble Don't Last, Crooked River, and All of the Above. And I did enjoy this one. It started off strong. It was funny. But it was believable. It had great potential. And while I wasn't particularly disappointed in the book, the last half is weaker than the first half. Not that it ever turns bad.

If it were a beam routine (and forgive me but with the Olympics I have gymnastics on the brain), I'd say there were no falls, no major deductions per se. But a couple of balance checks and a hop on the landing keep it from getting that perfect perfect score.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Lezlie 10:12 AM  

I'm not a YA reader, but I have to say this looks really cute!


Anonymous,  12:47 PM  

yeah it was i read this book and i am not a big elvis fan and still enjoyed it. The book was a christmas gift so i was some what reluctant to read it but it turned out to be great!


Anonymous,  12:48 PM  

yeah it was i read this book and i am not a big elvis fan and still enjoyed it. The book was a christmas gift so i was some what reluctant to read it but it turned out to be great!


Anonymous,  6:56 PM  

i am currently reading it and it is amazing.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

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
  • horse books
  • 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.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP