Monday, July 11, 2011

Happiness is...a good book. (Summer Reading edition #15)

So Much Closer
Author: Susane Colasanti
Pages: 241
Age Range: Ya/12+
Published: 2010
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Cover Score: ***
Overall Grade: ***
Rating: PG
Brooke is a girl with a mission (I mean obsession). She’s convinced she and Scott Abrams are meant to be together and is ready to confess all to him at their Junior Picnic when he surprises her first of all by speaking to her and second by telling her he’s moving to New York City for their Senior Year. And of course she decides to follow him to New York.  She calls up her father (whom she hasn’t spoken to since he left her and her mother 6 years ago) and begs to stay with him under the guise of getting a better education at a better school.  He agrees and she’s on her way.
Luck is on her side when she gets settled and finds that she and Scott live in the same neighborhood and will be attending the same school. Eventually she finds the courage to confess to him how much she likes him and they begin dating.
She’s spent her life hiding her Genius IQ in an effort to be considered normal and rebel against the system but the teachers at her new school actually take an interest in their students and she finds that nearly every teacher gives her the spiel about not living up to her potential and hurting herself in terms of not being able to get into colleges and whatnot.  But it’s not until a fellow classmate pressures her to join the after school tutoring league and her tutee makes some of the same comments that she begins to re-think her position.
She also begins to rethink her position on Scott when their relationship fails to move past the initial physical stage. As much as she loves kissing him they don’t really seem to have much in common and she realizes that maybe he isn’t as perfect as she’d imagined him to be.
While she is full of insecurities and self-doubts she finds a few friends (or rather they find her as she had intended to concentrate fully on Scott and not worry about anyone else…who wants to go to the effort of making friends just to leave them all behind in a year?) who build her up, help her realize her potential and actually work at making something of her life.
She comes to realize that everything along her journey hasn’t always been good or worked out as she’d hoped but it has helped her get to the next step and discover things about herself that have contributed to who she has become. She’s not perfect but she’s making some great strides and facing life and relationships in a much healthier way than when the book began.
It really captures the teen voice, her confusion and obliviousness, and all-encompassing life and death emotions and experiences with some positive resolutions. There are an abundance of “he goes” and “she’s like” scattered throughout the text giving it a very realistic, conversational tone. And while there are some romance and relationship issues it’s clean and harmless. A light, quick read suitable even for young tweens.  Happy fluff!

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