Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Boy on Cinnamon Street

The Boy on Cinnamon Street – Phoebe Stone – Arthur A. Levine Books

The “Facts”: Book, 240 pages, 1 week to read

Summary: (From GoodReads) A story about a wounded girl and the boy who won't give up on her.
7th grader Louise should be the captain of her school's gymnastics team - but she isn't. She's fun and cute and should have lots of friends - but she doesn't. And there's a dreamy boy who has a crush on her - but somehow they never connect. Louise has everything going for her - so what is it that's holding her back?
Phoebe Stone tells the winning story of the spring when 7th grader Louise Terrace wakes up, finds the courage to confront the painful family secret she's hiding from - and finally get the boy.

My Review: Like usual, I must point out that I ‘judge’ a middle school/ya book much more harshly than I would any other type. This must be from my teacher/librarian mindset, but when I find a book to recommend to my students, I look for the best of the best.
Sadly, this book was not one of them. Do I think younger readers might enjoy this book? Yes. Do I feel like this book should have delivered more? HECK YES! Unfortunately, I can not explain to you exactly why I feel this book lacked some punch, due to spoilers and all that.
To begin with, the cover of this book is adorable. When this book was returned to the library, I chose it based on the cover and quick blurb on the back. I was expecting a short, sweet, romantic tale. What I got was a story about a girl who has had a difficult past, and is too blind to see what everyone else can. Not to mention the fact that the story revolves around her and her ‘crush.’ Sadly, she doesn’t even really like the guy! How can one describe a book to be about a girl’s crush, when it isn’t true?
This book should have been two completely different books with two completely different characters. The author tried- and failed- to have a sweet romantic book with a darker/edgy side. She really should have stuck with one or the other. When the novel did finally delve into the darker side of the book, the author completely derailed from the original sweet story line, and when she came back to it, it was as if the secondary plot line never happened.
All-in-all, this book annoyed me. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t terrible, it was just chaotic and hard to follow. I know my younger readers love this book, so there is something to say about that. However, in my line of work, it is not one I would actively recommend.

My Rating: 2 stars.

Warning: This book is not as happy and sweet as the cover appears, and briefly touches on darker themes.

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