Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Enchanting Review: The Missing Girl

YA Contemporary
Harper Collins
ISBN# 978-0064473651
304 pages
Paperback—Available now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

This is the story of the five Herbert sisters and the man who watches them in the shadows. Beauty is the oldest that can’t wait to leave the small town. Mim is the sensitive one. Stevie is the rebellious one. Fancy is the one with special needs. Autumn is the youngest.

The man is very ordinary. He watches his chickadees, planning on which one he’ll take. The girls are unaware of this and continue with their lives until their family security is shattered one fateful day when the man makes his decision with painful consequences.

I admit at times this book was hard to read considering I’m the mother of a small child. This is a very chilling and at times disturbing story of a man who watches and waits to kidnap a girl. I was disturbed at how much the author revealed about the man’s plans and his thinking so much so that I found myself checking my surroundings more than once.

This novel is told from alternating points of view that at times confused me. I almost think it would have been better if the author had stayed with only one point of view. By having all five sister’s voices throughout this novel I didn’t feel a real connection with any of them. Also the parents were in the background. I wanted to know what they were feeling and to show how a tragedy rips apart a family.

At the end of the book is a study guide and other interesting information on how the author came up with the idea of THE MISSING GIRL. I think this book would be a great book club selection. Also it would be great for discussions afterwards.

Norma Fox Mazer died in 2009 and THE MISSING GIRL is her last novel. Her career as an author of teenage books spanned forty years. Her books won many awards, including the ALAN Award from the National Council of Teachers of English, the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and the Christopher Award.

April 2010

Enchanting Review: The Six Rules of Maybe

Contemporary YA
Simon Pulse
ISBN# 9781416979692
321 Pages
$16.99 US/$19.99 Can
Hardcover--Available Now

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

Between her older sister, Juliet's, unexpected return home, not to mention unexpected husband and news in tow, it's hard for seventeen year old Scarlet to adjust to the new turn her summer has taken. Her sister's husband, Hayden, is nothing like the bad boys Juliet usually dates and Scarlet finds herself falling for the sweet, soft-hearted guy. Scarlet's the kind of girl who wants to look after everyone, including the elderly neighbor couple across the street who are falling prey to an internet scam despite Scarlet's best efforts. I have to say that was one of my favorite sub-plots in the book and it's ending made me crack up.

Ms. Caletti creates a wonderful read with THE SIX RULES OF MAYBE. I loved Scarlet, how she was always wanting to look out for those around her, whether it was creating mail for Clive Weaver across the street; setting up the Goth Girl who draws on the sidewalk with a date for prom, or trying to fix her sister's marriage, all without really acknowledging that maybe the ones that need the help the most are her and her sister. It takes Scarlet awhile to dig deep enough to discover the real reason behind it all, why her sister keeps shoving Hayden away and why she herself is the way she is. I loved the scenes between Scarlet and Hayden, how she takes him on a tour of the small island they live on and the way she goes out to keep him company when he goes out to smoke in the middle of the night. I love how she's completely blind to the guy from school who seems interested in her, the same boy one of her BFF's is crushing on and how one of the oddest guys in school is trying to convince her to go out with him, even though that's the last thing she wants. THE SIX RULES OF MAYBE is full of everything I love about Ms. Caletti's books: great voice, characters and plot. Definitely one for my keeper shelf.

Ms. Caletti is the author of The Queen of Everything; Honey, Baby, Sweetheart (a National Book Award finalist); Wild Roses; The Nature of Jade; The Fortunes of Indigo Skye; and The Secret Life of Prince Charming. She lives with her family in Seattle. You can visit her online at and become a fan on Facebook.

Enchanting Reviews
May 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Enchanting Review: My Double Life

Contemporary YA
ISBN# 978-0-399-25262-4
272 Pages
Hardcover—Available May 2010

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Alexia Garcia can't believe the offer that comes her way after a mean girl's prank on her backfires when the photo catches some surprise attention. With her uncanny resemblance to pop star Kari Kingsley, Kari and her publicist want her to play the role of Kari's double, filling in for Kari at a handful of events and small concerts so the real Kari can concentrate on working on her long delayed album. The offer seems too good to be true, and her mother is decidedly against the idea, especially when she confides the identity of Alexia's father, something that's been a secret all of Alexia's life. The girls' resemblance isn't so much a coincidence, as the two are half sisters, a piece of knowledge that spurs Alexia to quickly agree to the plan and move to California for a chance to get to know the half-sister she never knew existed and for a chance to meet her father.

I really enjoyed MY DOUBLE LIFE. While Alexia struggles to fit into her role as Kari's double, including a complete make-over with hair extensions, dance classes, a designer wardrobe and more, she finds herself facing some unexpected issues of her own. With the physical distance between her and her mother and grandmother, things aren't exactly the way Alexia thought they'd be. Add in her developing feelings for fellow teen star Grant who thinks she's really Kari, and not only is Alexia confused, she's also torn between doing exactly what everyone expects her to and what she feels is right. I have to say I really liked the friendship of sorts that forms between Alexia and Kari and the way that Alexia wants to help her half-sister out of the trouble she's in, which I wish would have played into the story a little more. However it didn't make the book any less enjoyable. I have to say my favorite scene that still makes me smile is when Grant goes to drop 'Kari' off after their date and instead of taking Alexia to where she's living with the publicist, he takes her to Kari's home. Alexia panics but it looks like maybe no one is home, until she hears footsteps in the house. Between dealing with a very confused poolman who tells her that she just argued with him in the driveway (obviously the real Kari) and Kari's real boyfriend showing up after Grant leaves, it's one enjoyable mess.

Janette Rallison lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as "an eccentric cat lady." You can visit her online at her website,

March 2010