Bliss has worked hard to have the perfect popular teenage experience… until she catches her boyfriend and her best friend hooking up in the back of their limo on the night of Junior Prom. Jolene, a rebel with a bad reputation, and Meg, a lonely social outcast get pulled into Bliss’ plan for revenge. Over the course of the night, the girls learn more about themselves and each other as they plan a mad-capped caper that leads to both hilarious and heart-wrenching consequences.
I picked up this young adult book at the library because I was driving 6 hours for Thanksgiving, and I was looking for a nice light read to listen to on the way. This book did not disappoint! Even though the premise was a bit cheesy, the characters had more depth and were much more complex than I would have guessed.
There is both the drama of high school with all its pressures and cliques, but there is some real drama too—issues of family, divorce, insecurity, and identity. I also enjoyed the author’s writing style; the book is told through multiple first-person narrative and readers truly get a sense of each girl’s unique voice. I also enjoyed her use of description, and the way she showed instead of told the reader what was going on, a difficult skill to master. I will definitely pick up another of her books when I feel like a similar read.
My only caution regarding this book would be for parents of younger readers. The book opens with a very sexual scene and sex is discussed throughout the book. This is definitely a book for high school students (or the random adult like me who enjoys YA reads every now and then). I don’t think it would be as appropriate for some middle school or younger teen audiences, but I loved it!
Find it on Amazon HERE
And on Audible HERE
This was my second journey into this fairy tale landscape created by Alethea Kontis, and while the book has its flaws, I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time! Sunday is the youngest of seven daughters born to a woodcutter father and a part-fairy mother. The story begins simply, as Sunday meets (and kisses) a frog. But, there are twists, turns, and fragments of other fairy tales woven into the primary plot that keep readers interested until the book’s shocking conclusion.
This book is the first of a series about the Woodcutter family. I enjoyed the nods to other characters, which will later be fleshed out further as the series continues. I also enjoyed the hints of what had come before this story began. On a lesser note, I felt that Sunday and the frog’s initial friendship and later the prince’s “love at first sight” happened a bit too quickly.
The characters are supposed to be plays on archetypes, so at times, the character development falls a bit flat. Again, these are facets of traditional fairy tales, but the author plays with so many other elements, I wish she had played with these as well.
Some readers may not enjoy the mish-mash of other fairytales including hints of “The Princess and the Pea,” “Snow White,” and many others. However, that was precisely what
I liked about the book. Also, it’s meant for younger readers, so I could imagine examining/reading the original tales, other alternate versions, Disney versions, etc. that could produce some good discussion in a classroom or at home.
I read book two as well, and plan to pick up book three, so for me, the benefits of the series outweigh its disadvantages.
Buy it on Amazon Here