As promised, the first installment of the Lit Chicks.
SLEEPAWAY GIRLS by Jen Calonita
This book is about a girl named Sam Montgomery who is going to Whispering Pines, a sleepaway camp, for the summer as a CIT (counselor in training). She is reluctant to go and when the camp directors daughter Ashley starts messing with her it doesn't help her feelings. She then meets some really cool girls in her cabin who help her deal with the drama and frustration that Ashley causes her. She is also assigned to Alexis (the camp directors other daughter) who is the coolest and most coveted counselor who helps Sam learn the ropes of camp. Sam meets a guy named Cole , a fellow CIT, who ends up being her best guy friend at camp who she grows a crush on... there is a really fun plot in this book and the protagonist is someone that most girls can relate to. Her friendships and crushes and experiences at camp are things that could happen in reality - it was one of those books that i couldn't put down. I thought at first that having the mean girl be the director’s daughter was kind of cliche but the way that the author unraveled the plot fit perfectly and made me feel sorry for Ashley. I would definitely tell all my friends to read this! So go buy it! You should also read the CONFESSIONS OF MY HOLLYWOOD LIFE series also by Jen Calonita!
NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL by Justina Chen Headley
OK, so, I was reading this book club link online that Cynthia so kindly sent me, and they were just printing up the jacket blurb and saying something along the lines of, "This book was soo cute! Read it!" Well, reading that, you know what I thought, I'm sure.........."I'll just print the jacket blurb and say some nice little thing about the cool plot line, and be done! Score! I can hundreds of these!" But, that just doesn't seem very honest, so I'm going to try and preview this book as best I can.....This book being North of Beautiful (To underline or not to underline?)by Justina Chen Headley! I really really love this book. I found it one day at the library and I think I might have cried a couple times--Liesl would know--but anyway, it has held a loyal place on my wish lists for birthdays and holidays for a couple years, and I never got it until my dear grandparents visited this year a bit after my birthday and they brought a squareish package, and it just happened to be one of my favorite books of all time! Ha ha ha ha, I'm such a suck up.
But, this book is about a 16 year old girl, Terra, who was born with a port-wine stain birthmark on her cheek. Although, she is pretty blessed in the looks department, Terra is stared at and shunned because of her birthmark which she strives to cover using various lotions and potions. Terra graduates from high school a year early with high hopes of getting into a good college--like Williams?-- and escaping far far away from her stifling father and shy, overweight mother. When a car accident (I'm not going into details) puts her and her mom in the path of goth boy, Jacob, and his adventurous mother Norah, it changes their lives. Terra's mom befriends Norah and starts to become more independent, and Terra starts to question what she's doing with her life and how she looks at herself. Soon, the four of them end up in China visiting Terra's brother Merc--or rather, staying in his house wondering where the heck he is. While in China, Terra grows closer to Jacob, her mother, and herself, embracing the fact that she might actually be beautiful. When they return home to her dad, Terra's mom starts to stand up for herself to her verbally abusive husband and Terra decides to love herself with all her flaws.
OK, that was not a very accurate summary, but basically what happens. There's an unknown boyfriend in the mix, some surgery failures, and a couple brothers who never come home.
This was a really good book though. I'm all for those books that make you look at life and think about and question your friends and family and yourself. It was well written and I think it was easy to identify with the characters--main or supporting--and you find yourself cheering for and crying with Terra throughout her struggle to find herself and break free of her father to become her own (beautiful) person. If you like art, or China, or mapmaking, or books about dysfunctional families, or friends, or self-esteem, then this is a book for you. :) OK, it really is a book for everybody, but especially for you!
Thanks LitChicks! Stay tuned next Thursday for new reviews of their favorite books.
On this date: In 1981 Prince Charles marries Princess Diana.