Monday, December 07, 2009

Dear Pen Pal (MG)


Frederick, Heather Vogel. 2009. Dear Pen Pal. (The Mother Daughter Book Club #3). Simon & Schuster. 416 pages.

Dear Miss Delaney...
"What's this?" I ask, picking up the letter that's lying in the middle of my plate and scooching my chair chair closer to the table.


Young girls and their mothers reading books together. Sounds interesting, right? This one didn't quite work for me the way I expected. I wanted to like it more than I did. This one is told through multiple narrators, alternating chapters. So many voices, so many stories. So many different directions. Jess. Megan. Emma. Cassidy. These are the 'main' girls though other characters are a part of this one as well. (There are other members of the book club, by the way.) They all have different adjustments to make in their lives: new schools, new uniforms, new siblings, new love interests, new relatives moving in, new enemies needing to be befriended and understood, new pets, etc.

I think I would have liked this one better if I'd read the first two in the series. I also think I would probably like this one better if the timing had been right. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, a book just doesn't work for you. It's not that there's anything wrong with the book. It's just it's not for you at that moment--at least. So perhaps I'll pick up this series again from the start and come away feeling better.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 comments:

Ash 11:12 AM  

I browsed the beginning of the first one once and I didn't care for it. I really like the idea of the books though.

The Book Chook 3:00 PM  

I think the whole multiple narrator thing has to be done really well to work. I read a YA one recently that did: outside In by Chrissie Keighery.

Liz 3:18 PM  

I featured your blog on my site about women who do amazing things. You can see the post here.

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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
  • 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.
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