Sunday, April 27, 2014

 Sam is not a star athlete or popular by any means. Not that it really matters since he feels comfortable in his skin. He may not be popular but he has a small group of great loyal friends, who aren't popular either. He enjoys watching horror movies and writes screenplays. Not to mention he is really smart.

His life begins to turn around when his school gets a new student from England. She is pretty and edgy. Camilla fits right into the popular crowd. She begins to show interest in Sam and his friends. He seems confused as to why she would want to hang out with him and his friends when she is already part of the popular kids. He tries to ignore her and is kind of rude to her but then she begins talking about World of Warcraft and Star Wars and their friendship starts to begin.

Their friendship begins to really blossom! But everything else around him is going wrong. His parents decide to separate, he feels that his best friend is keeping something from him; he punches one of his good friends, and kisses another girl. Will Sam and Camilla make it in the end?

I really enjoyed this book! It was funny and cute. And you will fall in love with the characters. The strengths of the book is that it is told from a boys point of view and teen boys will be able to relate to Sam. I feel like there isn't many young romance novels told through a boys view and this is a great one. Some weaknesses are that some of the references the book makes maybe too old for current teens to understand.  An example is Sam talks about Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, The Breakfast Club, Grease, and others. I don’t know if the generation now will now what he is talking about. He also mentions Dr. Who which is a popular show but not everyone knows about it.

Also his and his friends slang is different from what I am use but the generation now may understand him. But other than that I really enjoyed it. I think it brings up good topics like how to help a friend out. Here is a link that I found would be useful for teachers to reference if a student is having problems with a good friend. Bullying is something that happens in the book as well and I found a video about bullying.

One main theme is divorce. It unfortunately does happen in families and here are two good websites for teens and parents that are going through a divorce. Also here is a website for counselors or teachers who have a student going through a divorce.

Overall I think this is a great book for teens to read for fun. I don’t think it is a book to be taught in class. But I would recommend it for a book report or project or for a student who wants to read a new book. It is fun love story but not a book for the classroom.


Sarah Millen said...

Hi, Vanessa,

This sounds like a great book for adolescents. Sam seems like a great character for students who aren't that into sports to read about. I know in my experience, especially in a small town, sports tend to reign. But it's so important for students to embrace other passions as well (and to not be afraid to do so)--and it seems Sam has.

You make a good point about the topic of divorce--it is certainly not uncommon today. Year after year, more and more of our students are experiencing the divorce of their parents. I like your inclusion of coping websites.

I can see where you'd say that you're unsure of the book's pop culture relevance to adolescents of today. I think they'll know Grease and The Breakfast Club, but probably not Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But actually, Dr. Who is becoming a big thing for our teens today. I have a handful who are absolutely obsessed. So maybe more will get that reference than you think. :)

Thanks for your review. And I agree with you--it's cool to see a YA novel with a male protagonist. We tend to see more females in the center role.


Vanessa Chairez said...

Hey Sarah,

Thanks for your comment! I agree that Dr. Who is becoming popular. I asked my sister who is a freshman in High School if she knew of any of these movies or shows and she only knew Grease and Buffy the Vampire Slavery and had no clue what the others were. So of course every teen will know different things.