Book Review: Picture Me by Lori Weber

picture mePicture Me by Lori Weber

Publisher: James Lorimer & Company

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: March 1, 2014

Pages: 168 (Hardcover)

good good

When a well-meaning English teacher has overweight student Krista read aloud a poem about body image titled “Barbie Doll” in class, she ignites a simmering bullying event based on Krista’s appearance. Krista’s best friend, and witness to the event, Tessa, is suspended for fighting to defend her friend. The girl who bullies Krista seems unaffected by the incident at school and more concerned with what an older guy thinks of her. But as the three characters’ paths intersect, their inner lives are revealed. Each emerges as a much more complicated individual than their simple bully, target, and witness labels.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, James Lorimer & Company for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

This isn’t a bad book. In fact, I think I would make my class read this if I were a teacher. The reasons why I’m giving it such a low rating is because of how short it is and the audience. Some of the events that occur in here are more high school than middle school and I found some things a little too hard to believe.

Picture Me is less than 200 pages. It’s hard to create a memorable story with in such a short time and unfortunately, Lori Weber doesn’t succeed. Since the story is so painfully short, the characters are feel rushed and one-sided. Their situations are only touched on and then that’s it, there’s not enough depth for me to feel anything but apathetic towards them.  I also felt that the audience for the book is wrong. Most events that go on in this lean towards high school students and I felt really weird thinking about thirteen year olds doing all of these mindlessly harsh things.

The only thing about this novel is that it’s great for reluctant readers in the sense that this novel could be finished in an hour, two at most.It touches on how bullying affects the victim and how sometimes, bullies are victims themselves. Overall, this book is a disappointment. I was looking for something that read more like a story rather than a pamphlet with realistic characters. I do recommend this to teachers but not to people who are looking for something heart-felt and touching.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: Eighth Grade Bites (The Chronicles Of Vladimir Tod#1) By Heather Brewer

530848Eighth Grade Bites (The Chronicles Of Vladimir Tod#1) By Heather Brewer

Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: August 16, 2007

Pages: 172 (Ebook)
Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod#1)

 

Junior high really sucks for thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: his mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: he’s being hunted by a vampire killer.

(My Opinion)

Eighth Grade Bites isn’t your typical vampire story. There aren’t vampires trying to go ‘vegetarian’ or that kind of insta-love thing going on. Told in third person and mostly focuses on Vlad the half vampire who doesn’t know much about his vampire side comes a funny yet dark read.

The whole book moves a bit too fast for my liking. Because of this, the characters don’t jump out at me as much as I would like them to. They just go through the motions without lingering on the important topics and the friendships that go on in the book. Although this book is quite mysterious, the clues given are not. They are pretty mediocre and not exciting as they should be with a plot about death and family secrets.

Otis is an awesome character. He’s the kind of guy who is completely unpredictable. When I thought I had him all figured out, he does something that leaves me in the dark again. I like the writing style because even though most of the characters didn’t catch my attention, the writing is smooth and certainly did. Another thing I like is the humour. Because the book is somewhat funny with relationships between the characters that seems real and sweet.

Overall, Heather Brewer does a good job with this. It’s not perfect, nor does it start off on a great note, but I did enjoy it. I recommend it for fantasy lovers who love vampires. Or even if you’re looking for an innocent romance because the romance in the book is so sweet it broke my heart.

Three Clouds
Three Clouds

For quotes from the book click here.