May 19, 2012

Fake, Outrageous, Cupcakes!

Okay, I know the title of this post is a little odd, but it fits perfectly with three great tween reads I've read over that last couple of weeks. Two of the novels are from a series and the other is a fun read.

I love tween novels, and I really love when I find a series that makes me feel good about life. 


Summary (from the book):

Now that she is settling into eighth grade, the class she used to envy, Alice McKinley is discovering that it isn’t all that exciting. But maybe it’s up to her to make this year as thrilling as she thought it would be. Out with the old, plain-Jane Alice, in with the new, stylish, creative Alice. She’s sick of being boring. It’s time to be outrageous!

But what if outrageous isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be? What if Alice finds herself in situations that are more embarrassing than they are wild and fun? Is Alice destined to be the same boring girl forever?

My Thoughts:

Another Alice book bites the dust. My goal is to read all of them before the end of the year, and as always, I adored this one as much as the others.

Alice is growing up, page-by-page, allowing readers to experience it with her. This is why I love these books. I feel as if I am Alice – as if I am the one experiencing all the love, friendship, and laughter.

In this latest installment Alice decides that she is just too plain, and she wants to be a bit different. It seems everyone has something that makes them special, and she is just plain Alice. So…she experiments with ways to make herself more interesting. My favorite moment is when she shows up to school with her green Mohawk – well, her sort of green Mohawk. She doesn’t shave her hair or anything. She just tries to create the spikes with her hair.

And do you know what I love about Alice as a character? That she is willing to take chances, even wearing a crazy Mohawk to school, and doesn’t really care what others think. She understands that the key to life is loving one’s self, but it is her road of discovering her own self that makes these books worth every page.

Summary (from the book):

Emma is not thrilled with always needing to rearrange her schedule to babysit her younger brother, Jake, after school. But it’s summer, and Emma is free…or so she thinks. Emma’s parents have broken the news that really threatens to push Emma over the edge: Emma and Jake are going to the same day camp together. And Emma will have to babysit Jake on the bus. Every day.

My Thoughts:

I highly recommend The Cupcake Diaries series to all tween readers. These books bring to life what real friendship is all about, even if it is through the making of cupcakes. I feel that these books also empower girls to remember that tween life is meant to be clean-cut, wholesome. Who wants to grow up too fast anyway?

I also love that each book focuses on an individual member of the Cupcake Club.

In the latest installment, the focus is on Emma. It’s summer and it’s time for day camp. But, does her brother Jake really have to go to the same one? Of course he does. And not only that, but Emma has to “babysit” him on the bus to camp each day. This alone is a trial of her patience, but she meets new friends, has a great time, and learns that sacrifice for family can never lead her down the wrong path—even if she would rather ride with her best friend to camp each day instead.

With typical “one for all and all for one” attitudes, the Cupcake Club comes together to make it all work—even when Emma doesn’t think she can take her brother anymore.

Summary (from the book):

A novelty mustache pits two seventh-grade friends against each other in a battle for the fate of the U.S.A.

The mustache in question is no cheap costume prop but the Heidelberg Handlebar Number Seven, a lip tickler so dazzlingly convincing, it can turn whole towns of people into mindless yes-men. Twelve-year-old Casper Bengue borrows ten dollars from his friend Lenny Flem Jr. to buy the mustache. So when a mysterious—and very short—mustachioed man goes on a bank-robbing spree, then launches a well-financed bid for the presidency, it doesn’t take Lenny long to realize that his buddy is up to no good. Too bad almost everyone else is completely under Casper’s spell.

With the amazing Jodie O’Rodeo, teen cowgirl queen, at his side and dozens of hypnotized townsfolk on his trail, Lenny will try to stop Casper—aka Fako Mustacho—on his seemingly inexorable march to the White House.

My Thoughts:

Be prepared to laugh! No seriously, I mean it.

Angleberger does it again with this hilarious take on what happens when a seven-year-old has enough money to purchase a “man about town” suit and a “Heidelberg Handlebar Number Seven” mustache.

The novel opens with Lenny Flem Jr.’s point of view, following him through the discovery that his best friend is actually a bank-robbing, governorship-stealing, president-wanting criminal mastermind…all because of a suit and mustache!

The narration is broken into two parts: Lenny and Jodie O’Rodeo. I prefer Lenny’s narration, and I felt as if Jodie’s took away from the overall novel. But, the chapter titles are clever, the chapter lengths are appropriate, and the overall effect = belly laughs.

While there are parts that will make adult readers go “As if…”, young readers will be delighted with the wit and charm of this novel.

This is a fast read, and it is appropriate for both male and female readers. 

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