Posts Tagged ‘Dog Ear Reading Challenge’

I decided to branch out a little bit for the Dog Ear Reading Challenge’s Young Adult or Juvenile Fiction Requirement by reading Diary of a Teenage Girl, the first book in Melody Carlson’s Just Ask series.  This book is not like the young adult books I usually read.  There wasn’t any real drama or romance in it.  Instead, the book is about a girl named Kim.  Kim is a Korean high school aged girl adopted into a white family.  The book isn’t really about her assimilation into American culture either.  Instead, the book chronicles her experiences in a diary format as the author of a Just Ask column where she takes the persona and anonymity of Jamie.

You see, the thing is that Kim never wanted to become the writer of an advice column.  She doesn’t feel like she has any of the right answers.  I wouldn’t say it’s forced on her exactly, but it is brought upon by unconventional means.  You see, Kim really wants a car.  She’s tired of borrowing her mother’s less than glamorous car.  Her parents are ready to help her buy a car under one condition: no tickets.  Of course, this means that the book begins with Kim getting a speeding ticket.  Devastated by the mere thought of loosing her chance to get a car, she runs to daddy who strikes a deal with her: write the column and we’ll forgive the speeding ticket incident.  Obviously, she agrees.

What ensues is a typical teenage account of high school tragedies, friendships, boy issues, and a journey of Kim finding herself through the people she helps through the column.  The book is very cliche and at times, I found it to be slightly preachy especially when it came to Kim’s religious enlightenment.  I liked reading about her exploring different religions far more than reading about her religious awakening, which I found to be terribly unbelievable.

Still, Kim’s journey is not terribly trivial.  Reading her diary brought me back to my high school days.  There were many issues that I see college students still dealing with: weight issues, religious inquiries, how to deal with a friend’s death, boy problems ect.  I’m not sure I agreed with the way she handled any of these issues in her own life or in her advice column, but maybe that is just because my experiences in high school were so much different.  Kim just came off as the good girl: great grades, doesn’t drink, doesn’t pine after boys.  I was never like that and those girls weren’t really my friends either.

The books ending doesn’t really tie up any of the plot lines in the book, which was disappointing.  Within the last twenty pages, a new difficult for Kim and her family appears, which I’m guessing leads into the next book.  Still, I was very unsatisfied with the books.  It brought up some great discussion points for teens, but didn’t really provide any answers.  It just grappled with some pretty obscure topics and issues.

Overall Rating: C-


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The Sunday Salon.com

Happy Sunday everyone!  This last week has been incredibly busy.  I’ve hardly had any time to sleep!  Still, I’ve been doing some light reading here and there.  I finished my Young Adult piece of the Dog Ear Reading Challenge, and the review will be up tomorrow.  I tried branching out to something different, but it turned out to be a little disappointing to say the least.  Still, it’s nice to try new things every now and then – reading the same kinds of books all the time ends up being quite boring.

BBAW is coming up.  Not sure what the extent of my participation will be (next week is bound to be busy for me as it is the last week of summer).  I’m currently jumping into a nonfiction book that ticked my interest (Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women).  I have been running through hours and hours of diversity training as part of the CF formation process.  The conversations have been enlightening and incredibly informative, but there are certain things that I wanted to learn more about.  The first and foremost being a more in depth look at women and feminist issues, which this book obviously does explore quite in depth.  It should be a great week for me and all my fellow bloggers.

As always, Happy Reading!

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