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You are here: Home » Audience: Middle Grade

Jessica Darling's It List #1JESSICA DARLING’S IT LIST #1 by Megan McCafferty Book Review
Series: Jessica Darling’s It List, #1
Publication Date: September 3rd 2013 by Poppy
Rating: – Poor |

Book Summary: Move over, Dork Diaries! Jessica Darling, star of Megan McCafferty’s bestselling Jessica Darling series for adults, is back in a hilarious new series perfect for tween (10 to 14) girls.

I hadn’t even gotten to homeroom yet and I’d already discovered five hard truths about junior high:

1. My best friend had turned pretty.
2. She didn’t know it yet.
3. It wouldn’t be long before she did.
4. That knowledge would change everything between us.
5. And there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.

It’s the first day of seventh grade. Is Jessica Darling doomed for dorkdom?

New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty’s hilarious series opener will have you laughing, cringing, and cheering for Jessica Darling as she learns that being herself beats being popular, pretty & perfect any day

Jessica Darling’s It List #1 by Megan McCafferty Book Review Overview:

  • Jessica Darling’s It List #1 was just a big disappointment
  • I never actually laughed out loud while reading, unfunny
  • The book is a bummer but it made me want to reread Jessica Darling all over again

It really just pains me to say this, but Jessica Darling’s It List #1 was just a big disappointment.

You know, maybe if I hadn’t read the Jessica Darling series all those years ago, I probably would have liked this book. Jessica’s funny, I guess. I can see the similarities in her younger self in her older self – which is pretty important. But I never actually laughed out loud when it came to reading. Which is a total bummer because Megan McCafferty can totally make me laugh in her other books. I’m also not attributing this to “middle grade humor” because I’ve read other middle grade books that managed to make me laugh out loud (example: Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series). The fact that Jessica Darling’s It List was unfunny was extremely disappointing.

I guess it’s nice to see how the characters developed from their middle school days to their high school days… but was I the least bit curious about it before I read Jessica Darling’s It List? No, not at all. In fact, when I first found out about the series I just wanted to cringe. I’ve enjoyed Megan McCafferty’s other series (Bumped) so it felt a bit like a sell-out to me when I found out that she was doing a spin-off of Jessica Darling.

On the upside, the only two characters that I really enjoyed reading about were Hope and Marcus Flutie – yup, the Marcus Flutie. I guess they were the only normal characters that never talked in CONSTANT CAPITALS AND EXCLAMATIONS!!! — which could get pretty tiring.

The only good thing that came out of reading Jessica Darling’s It List is that it made me want to reread the whole Jessica Darling series all over again. I did not get the warm fuzzies with this book that I got when reading the Jessica Darling series. I wish that Jessica Darling’s It List was able to prove me wrong, but this is just another spin-off series that should not have happened.

 

About the Author

Megan McCaffertyMegan McCafferty is the author of BUMPED, a satirical dystopian YA novel published by the Balzer + Bray imprint of HarperCollins. She also wrote the bestselling Jessica Darling series: SLOPPY FIRSTS, SECOND HELPINGS, CHARMED THIRDS, FOURTH COMINGS and PERFECT FIFTHS.

Megan edited a short story anthology called SIXTEEN: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday. She has contributed to several fiction and nonfiction anthologies including DEAR BULLY, MY LITTLE RED BOOK, DOES THIS BOOK MAKE ME LOOK FAT? and EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME. Her work has been translated into eleven languages, including German, Chinese and Hungarian.

Find the Author

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Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Two Stars - , , , , , , , | Words 867 words



You are here: Home » Audience: Middle Grade

Marco Impossible by Hannah MoskowitzMARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz Book Review
Publication Date: March 19th 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: Thirteen-year-old best friends Stephen and Marco attempt a go-for-broke heist to break into the high school prom and get Marco onstage to confess his love for (and hopefully steal the heart of) Benji, the adorable exchange student and bass player of the prom band. Of course, things don’t always go according to plan, and every heist comes with its fair share of hijinks.

Marco Impossible by Hannah Moskowitz Book Review Overview:

  • Marco can be a bit overbearing by the end of the book
  • The sibling relationships are a highlight of MARCO IMPOSSIBLE
  • A speedy read with a satisfying ending

Stephen is going to help his best friend, Marco, break into the high school prom so that he can declare his love for Benji in MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz. The recent middle school graduates are going all for nothing with a crazy plan for a declaration of love. While Marco is figuring out the last minute plans for their heist, Stephen learns that someone may be out to get Marco – someone who is uncomfortable with the fact that Marco is gay. Stephen must help accomplish Marco’s plan while uncovering who might be behind all of the hate crimes.

I know that part of the point of this book is to hate Marco quite a bit. After all, it is Stephen who is our protagonist and we want him to finally step out from Marco’s shadow. I know Marco is being bullied and all, but I really hate how he takes it all out on Stephen. He can really be a brat sometimes. His character was starting to get overbearing towards the end, and it made relating to Stephen a lot easier.

What I love most about MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz is the endearing relationships between Stephen and all of his siblings. As the middle child, he has such different relationships with each of his five siblings. I love that even if they are all different, they clearly love each other. I thought that the sibling relationships in MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz were truly genuine.

MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz is a pretty speedy read with a satisfying ending. Despite my fallbacks with Marco, I’d still be willing to try other Hannah Moskowitz books. In fact, this one has just made me more curious about her young adult novels. I’d recommend this book to middle grade readers who love strong friendships and familial relationships.

About the Author

Hannah MoskowitzHannah Moskowitz wrote her first story, about a kitten named Lilly on the run from cat hunters, for a contest when she was seven years old. She was disqualified for violence. Her first book, BREAK, was on the ALA’s 2010 list of Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. She is a student at The University of Maryland.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads



Comments 2 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , | Words 792 words



You are here: Home » Audience: Middle Grade

Maybe Next Time

Commentary: I usually never ever put a book down as DNF. Sometimes, very early on in a book I know the timing is just not right and I won’t be able to sit through reading it. I give it the first 30 or so pages (like a manuscript, HAH!) before I decide that I need to put it down. Maybe next time, I’ll enjoy it more than I do now. This is not a review. This is just a note to self – and fellow readers.

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your KingdomTHE HERO’S GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR KINGDOM by Christopher Healy
Publication Date: May 1st 2012 by Walden Pond Press

Book Summary: Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You’ve never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it’s up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

Debut author Christopher Healy takes us on a journey with four imperfect princes and their four improbable princesses, all of whom are trying to become perfect heroes–a fast-paced, funny, and fresh introduction to a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems.

I just couldn’t read this one right now because:

  1. I really wanted to keep going with The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy because of the fact that I received this book for review and that the people at Walden Pond Press are just so freakin’ awesome. But I just wasn’t feeling it. Partly because it was so long.
  2. I legit gave this book a shot. I read over a hundred pages. But the plot was too meandering and I just didn’t find it laugh out loud funny. It couldn’t sustain my attention for more than a few pages. It was a struggle for me.

Chances of Me Picking Up This Book (Again): Slim

  1. The chances of me of picking up The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy is slim to none. I’ve passed on my ARC onto someone who will hopefully give it more of a chance than I did. While I’d love to dabble more into middle grade, The Hero’s Guide just wasn’t for me.


Comments 2 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Maybe Next Time, Memes - , , , , | Words 562 words



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