The Haters is the second novel by Jesse Andrews, who is also the author of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl.
Wes and Corey are at jazz camp and it doesn’t take them long to figure out how lame it really is. In their first camp rehearsal, they meet Ash. The three of them realize what a connection they have after they play together and they just click. They decide to blow off the lameness jazz camp and go on tour because no band ever got good at jazz camp. A band gets good by playing on the road.
I love Jesse’s writing style. He’s sarcastic and his humor is on the dry side. Which, for those who don’t know me, I love sarcasm and dry humor. I’ve laughed out loud while reading his two books more than all the other books i’ve read combined (i’ve read a lot of books).
I was a huge fan of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl and because of that, I had pretty high expectations going in to The Haters. Wes, Corey and Ash reminded me a lot of Rachel, Earl and Greg. The two novels had a very similar feel and i’m not just talking about in writing style. I mean, it almost felt like Earl, Rachael and and Greg were in a different setting. It did take me a while to get in to the story.
But I loved it once I got in to it. I loved reading about Wes, Corey and Ash getting to know each other on the road, their ups and downs. I loved watching them getting themselves in to trouble and somehow getting themselves out of it.
I gave The Haters 4/5 stars and i am not so patiently waiting for Jesse’s third novel!
Saige Paints the Sky by Jessie Haas is the second book of two about Saige, American Girl’s 2012 Girl of the Year. WARNING: This is the second book and while this review is spoiler free, reading it might accidentally spoil what happens in Saige.
The sequel picks up right where the first book leaves off. There’s still no art program in the school and Mimi is still in the rehab center. Saige misses spending time with Mimi after school at the ranch, riding horses and painting in the art studio. Mimi let’s Saige ride her horse, Georgia with Luis, her next door neighbor but Saige finds out that Mimi might sell Georgia and this worries her. Also, Saige is having problems balancing her two friends Gabbi and Tessa.
Honestly, I feel like this book didn’t need to be written and reading it dragged out the story line. I was very happy with how everything wrapped up at the end of the first book. This book was around 120 pages and I read these American Girl books in about an hour. So the fact that like 10 pages in, it felt like it was dragging says something. I also think that if I was eight or nine years old reading this, it’s something I wouldn’t have noticed.
I did still enjoy reading the book. I liked getting to know Saige more. I really loved reading about her painting and riding horses, the things she’s most passionate about. I love how Saige is willing to fight for those passions. I think Saige is a good role model for little girls.
I enjoyed reading Saige Paints the Sky but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the second part was unnecessary and because of that I give it 3/5 stars.
Isabelle by Laurence Yep is the first book in a series of three about Isabelle, American Girl’s 2014 Girl of the year.
Isabelle has just started school at Anna Hart School of the Arts. And while she’s excited to finally get to go to school there, she can’t help but noticing that all of her classmates are so talented, especially Jade, her older sister. The Autumn Festival is coming up and while she does great helping her mom design costumes, Isabelle can’t help but feel like she’s falling behind her classmates in the dace room. She has to learn to stop comparing herself to others and become her own dancer.
I’d bought Isabelle off eBay in March. She didn’t come with her book so, when I was at the American Girl store for Melody‘s release and saw it was on sale for $3, I picked it along with the other two books in her series up without hesitation.
This was a nice fun read. I liked how it was simple and to the point without unnecessary characters and subplot lines. I really enjoyed the writing. I liked how the story was resolved but there was just enough at the end so that i’m intrigued to read the next book.
What I really liked was how Isabelle was dealing with the feeling that she isn’t as good as the others students at her school. This is something that we all go through at some point, feeling like we aren’t good enough. I applaud American Girl for taking on such strong themes and for doing it in a way that not just me as an adult can relate to but in a way that someone who is eight or nine years old, the target audience, can relate to. And while I won’t say what it is, (it would be a spoiler) I love the lesson that Isabelle learns at the end of the story.
Overall, I give Isabelle 4/5 stars and I can’t wait to read the second and third parts of Isabelle’s story!
Melody Ellison is American Girl’s newest historical character. No Ordinary Sound: A Melody Classic One by Denise Lewis Patrick is the first book of two about her.
Melody Ellison is nine years old and she’s living in Detroit in 1963. She’s been choose to sing a solo for youth day at her church and she’s having a hard time decide what song to sing. She takes advice from her older bother who is a really good singer and whose dream is to be a Motown singer. She also takes advice from her grandmother, Big Momma, who is also a singer. What ultimately, inspires Melody to choose a song is the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There are many unfair things happening during Melody’s time, even to Melody’s own family. It’s a tragedy that happens at a church in the south that leaves Melody silent. Will she be able to raise her voice and sing at youth day?
First things first, Melody is such a cute doll. I got her a week ago right when American Girl released her and I don’t like to play favorites with my dolls but she’s definitely one of mine.
Melody’s story struck a cord with me (musical pun intended). I remember learning about the Civil Rights Movement all throughout school but reading about it from Melody’s point of view. I liked seeing how Dr. King influenced her and gave her hope. They way that melody took the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church broke my heart. I almost cried reading that part.
I loved how bold and brave Melody is. She fights for what’s right and she won’t stand for the discrimination. Eventhough she’s a fictional character, I admire her.
I liked this Beforever bind up better that Maryellen’s. My biggest problem with Maryellen’s volume one was that it felt like it was three different short stories tied together in to one novel. This was not the case with Melody. Melody’s story was one story and I really appreciated that.
This story was beautifully written and because of that, I give it 5/5 stars. I will definitely be reading part two of Melody’s story in the very near future.