Thursday, April 28, 2011
Trauma Queen by Barbara Dee + Blowout by Taylor Morris
Trauma Queen by Barbara Dee
"Every tween girl knows what it's like to have a mom who can be a little embarrasing at times. But for Marigold, it goes way beyond embarrassing. Marigold's single mom is a performance artist, meaning she stages dramatic, wacky performances to express her personal beliefs. Things like wrapping herself in saran wrap for a piece on plastic surgery, or inviting people over in the middle of the night to videotape her sleeping. In fact, Marigold's mom's performances caused such a ruckus in their last town that the two of them, along with Marigold's little sister, have just had to move.
Now Marigold's starting a new school, missing her best friend like crazy, and trying to fit in all over again in the shadow of a mom who's famous for all the wrong reasons. As if that's not bad enough, Marigold's mom takes on a new job--teaching drama at Marigold's school! Now all the kids know instantly just how weird her mom is, and Marigold's worried she'll never be able to have a friendship that can survive her mother."- summary from Amazon
What I love about middle-grade novels (among other things) is the inclusion of parents as so many seem to be missing in the YA section. Dee did a wonderful job with the mother-daughter relationship in this book, making it hilarious and heartfelt. I seriously giggled a lot while reading Marigold's story, especially regarding her mom's performances. I just loved it.
Dee really captures the voice of a 13 year old, which made the story even more compelling. Marigold is a fun narrator and I loved spending time in her world with her family and friends.
Overall, a very funny read and a realistic mother-daughter relationship (performance art aside). Definitely recommended.
Hello Gorgeous Book 1: Blowout by Taylor Morris
"Now that she's had her thirteenth birthday, Mickey's finally old enough to work at her mother's super glam hair salon--Hello, Gorgeous! And true to the old cliche about people confiding in their hair stylists, Mickey starts getting an earful right off the bat. Customers love talking to her because she's so empathetic, but what happens when she starts getting overly involved in their dramas?"- summary from Amazon
It has been TOO LONG since I had a Taylor Morris book (her previous book came out in 2008) and I'm so glad that I can binge on three of them in a month. Blowout and its sequel Foiled are already out in stores, and BFF Breakup will be out May 10. Today though, I'm talking about Blowout, the first in a four-book series set around a girl working in her mother's salon. I don't think I've ever read a book set in a salon and now I kinda want to read more, lol. Morris sucked me in as usual with her fun prose and pitch-perfect voice and characterization.
Mickey is a great main character to read about and I enjoyed reading the start of her saga at the salon. I flew through this book really quickly and I'm eager to read the sequels. Morris has a great eye for writing about pre-teen problems, though many of them are timeless- how to make friends properly (and keep the ones you already have), gossiping and eavesdropping is not good, and trying to make your parents proud. These things pop up no matter how old you are, which makes this a fun read for people of all ages.
I also love that Mickey's best friend is a boy and that she plays video games and is really good at them. I loved all the characters in this book and it's going to be fun revisiting them in the sequels.
Overall, a fun series debut that I highly recommend (along with Morris' other books).
FTC: Received Trauma Queen final pb from author and Blowout ARC from publisher (with help from author!). Links above are Amazon Associate links; any profit goes toward funding contests.