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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hits and Misses

I have been woefully remiss in writing reviews. I have been stacking up the books to review and the pile has been growing since last summer. While I have written reviews for some of the books I’ve read, I have sadly not been able to get to them all.

I have been wracking by brain trying to figure out how to proceed with getting these books read and I have finally come up with a solution. So, I present to you my Hits and Misses.


Awkward by Marni Bates
Book Description (From Amazon):
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
I'm Mackenzie Wellesley, and I've spent my life avoiding the spotlight. But that was four million hits ago. . .
Blame it on that grade school ballet recital, when I tripped and pulled the curtain down, only to reveal my father kissing my dance instructor. At Smith High, I'm doing a pretty good job of being the awkward freshman people only notice when they need help with homework. Until I send a burly football player flying with my massive backpack, and make a disastrous--not to mention unwelcome--attempt at CPR. Just when I think it's time for home schooling, the whole fiasco explodes on Youtube. And then the strangest thing happens. Suddenly, I'm the latest sensation, sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes. I even catch the eye of the most popular guy at school. That's when life gets really interesting. ...

My thoughts:
I had read Decked with Holly by Marni Bates and really enjoyed it. So I had to pick up Awkward which is the first in the Smith High series.

Awkward centers around Mackenzie who becomes an overnight YouTube sensation and not because she did something fabulous. She was video-taped doing something really stupid and it went viral. She was used to being an outcast and not one of the A crowd, but her overnight fame has caused her to be the center of attention. And it turns her world upside down.

Suddenly she is thrust into the limelight.

I just really enjoyed seeing a geek girl, one of the Invisibles, rocket to fame and how the Notables now suddenly want to be friends. All Mackenzie wants to be is left alone, but her viral life-saving techniques have made that impossible. I could relate to her because I was one of those girls, on the fringe. I’m not saying I didn’t have a lot of friends. I did, but most of them were just as odd as me, and we liked it that way. I don’t know how I would handle being in the spotlight. Would it go to my head? Mackenzie certainly does transform, but does she let it all go to her head or does she keep it real, remembering where she comes from?


Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Book Description (From Amazon):
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
From the moment Amelia sets eyes on Chris, she is a goner. Lost. Sunk. Head over heels infatuated with him. It's problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, 15, is 15.

Amelia isn't stupid. She knows it's not gonna happen. So she plays it cool around Chris—at least, as cool as she can. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship: swapping life stories, bantering about everything from classic books to B movies, and cataloging the many injustices of growing up. As time goes on, Amelia's crush doesn't seem so one-sided anymore. But if Chris likes her back, what then? Can two people in such different places in life really be together?

Through a year of befuddling firsts—first love, first job, first party, and first hangover—debut author Laura Buzo shows how the things that break your heart can still crack you up.

My thoughts:
I thought this was a promising story at first. I downloaded a sample and like what I had read of it, so I ordered the book. It really didn't turn out at all as I had imagined.

There is a huge age gap between Amelia and Chris. He seems to like her, but in a friendly sort of way, and he’s protective of her. He has a crush one of the managers in the store, but Kathy is somewhat hot and cold with him. She generally ignores him, but he can’t stop crushing on her.

Chris confides his feelings about Kathy to Amelia. She tries to be supportive, but she is really trying to convince him to give Kathy up. AS it turns out, though, Kathy is just a diversion for him to get over the girl who really broke his heart.

The majority of people working at the store are older and of legal drinking age, but Amelia so wants to fit in. She goes to a party that one of her co-workers hosts. Chris has come up with another scheme to get Kathy’s attention, but she is off with another guy. Then he finds one of the other guys hitting on Amelia and plying her with alcohol. He gets pissed off and leaves the party.

Chris does seem to mess with her head and he confides in her at another party where they've been drinking that he’d be going out with her if she were just a little older. Amelia doesn't understand why he says it wouldn't work out between them. She is almost 16 after all.

Chris, although he does feel something for Amelia, can’t reconcile her age and he knows that it won’t work out. She’s just too young. He continues to pursue the perfect woman, whomever that may be, while Amelia still pines for him. Then he gives her news that will change their relationship.

Chris to me was a miserable, self-absorbed jerk. Their relationship was fine with me when he was being Obi Wan to her Luke Skywalker. He took her under his wing and showed her all the ropes, watched out for her and protected her. But once he realizes she has feelings for him and he starts to have feelings for her, he strings her along even though he knows the relationship can’t go anywhere.

I was more forgiving of Amelia. I remember the feeling of unrequited love. She never gave up hope. I don’t know how I’d feel in that situation. 15 is a young age and a 6 year age difference at the age is a pretty wide gap.

While it wasn't horrible, it just didn't live up to my expectations. I certainly wouldn't recommend this story to younger readers as there is underage drinking, underage sex and swearing.

So there you have it for this installment of Hits and Misses.  Enjoy!

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