Good morning (or whatever) This week I have been busy with finishing up school (the last day was yesterday) and other things. I technically have one exam this afternoon, but it’s RE (which is open bible… do you think that sounds funny) so I’ll be all right. I recently finished this very sweet MG book, which I actually got out for my brother to read (since I’d already read it) but that didn’t happen so I did.
Title: Surviving the Applewhites
Authour: Stephanie Tolan
Awards: Newbury Honor (And I don’t think I’ve read any Newbury I haven’t liked
Genre: Conteporary MG
Themes: Drama, family, friendship, living in the Deep South (or is it the deep south?)
Basic Idea: Jake is a bad kid. He’s been kicked out of every state in Rhode Island and now one in North Carolina (Americans, I don’t know geography. But these aren’t neighbours, right?) Nobody will take him, and his parents are in prison. The only option left is the Creative Academy, a home school run by the crazy, artsy Applewhite family, or juvie (Juvenile detention, fyi). E.D, the only non-crazy, non-artistic, organised member of the family, isn’t all that excited about him coming. She just knows he’ll burn the school down, or kill a goat or something. With spiky dyed hair and all black clothes, it seems Jake will never fit in. But when the local production of The Sound of Music needs a home, maybe Jake is more Applewhite than anyone would think.
What I liked: The characters were good. This was light and funny, but also touched on important themes. Destiny (the youngest Applewhite) was adorable, even if he should have cried like a normal four year old. Even though it’s a contemporary, the premise was actually pretty good and surprising. The setting was fabulous. The butterflies were awesome. The ending was good, even if I wanted it to tie up loose ends.
What I disliked: Jake’s transformation was not all that comprehensible. Some characters, like Marcia Manning, Paulie, Hal, and Govindswami weren’t really necessary. There wasn’t a great deal of background information. Jake and E.D both didn’t really act like 12 or 13 year olds (and I should know, considering I live with one)
favourite characters: Lucille (an aunt), Wolfbane (a goat), Randolph (the dad), and Bernstein (a reporter whose car breaks down and is stuck with them for a few months)
Have you read this book? How do you feel about MG (it always cheers me up)? What was the highlight of your week? Do you have school/university finishing up?