Friday, July 31, 2009

I, Lorelei (MG)

Smith, Yeardley. 2009. I, Lorelei. HarperCollins. 339 pages.

Dear Mud,
I've decided to start keeping a diary, so that when I become a famous writer/actress/chef I'll remember everything that happened to me. Plus, when I'm dead, and someone wants to write my biography, they won't have to make stuff up about me.

Lorelei would probably tell you that life isn't all that easy when you're eleven. She's got two brothers: one older, Teddy, one younger, Ryan. And her home life is stressed. Her parents are prone to arguing. That is when her father is home and not at work. But all that changes--and for the worse--when her father quits his job unexpectedly. He's going through a mid-life crisis, and it puts his marriage into major crisis, let me tell you. She even catches her dad making out with another woman. Poor Lorelei! Fortunately or unfortunately, she's got the school play to distract her. True, her mom--a former Wendy--is determined that her daughter should get the role of Wendy in the school's production of Peter Pan. But for the most part, the play is a positive experience, a chance for her to grow.

I, Lorelei is written in journal format. Letters to her newly departed cat, Mud. The book depicts the drama--both heavy and light--of being eleven. Family drama. School drama. And friend drama. It's not always easy to have a perfect relationship with her best friend. Fights happen. Especially when they both like the same cute boy.

I liked but didn't love this one. What I did like--for the most part--was the characterization. There were a few minor characters that were more fleshed out that I was expecting. (It's rare to see a family so fleshed out, for example, to have a mom and dad and two brothers actually be real characters. Not to mention some of Lorelei's classmates.) I would have liked to see even more simply because I found them interesting. And the story was enjoyable as well. The drama of the play--everything from auditions, dress rehearsals, and opening night--along with the family drama of a marriage unraveling and a forthcoming divorce make for a nice balance. It's never so heavy that it's unbearable, yet it's never so light that it's shallow and frivolous either. So I have mostly positive things to say, however, there were a few times when I felt the dialogue and narrative was a bit weak.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Lady Lazarus 8:39 AM  

Awww, it sounds like a sweet book. That's exactly what I was like when I was that age though - always writing in diaries to keep for when I was old and famous ;-)

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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).

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