Pros: Hilarious and touching
The Bottom Line: Pamplemousse. Don't worry. There's a reason behind that.
There are some books that you simply have to read the moment you see them. They just sit right at the top of your "To Read" list. That's precisely what happened with this book. I spotted it in the young reader's section and immediately pulled it off the shelf to see what it was about. A few snickers later, I knew I had to read it.
Violet's parents are divorced. She and her little sister are flown from L.A. to Vancouver for special occasions, and Violet's never quite forgiven her father for leaving their mother for some hot babe with bigger boobs. To make matters worse, her mom is now dating pretty much every loser in the history of loserdom. The latest? A guy named Dudley Wiener. Ugh. So she's got a plan: get George Clooney to marry her mom. Her best friend is in on it - and maybe even that really cute boy in her class that Violet keeps bumping into. Of course, nothing ever really goes according to plan in life, does it?
Violet, as a protagonist, is a blast. In fact, this whole book was a blast. I stayed up until 12 in the morning to finish it, it was so much fun. Violet gets herself into all sorts of situations, and I have to say that she's the kind of girl I would love to be friends with. Hanging out with her could easily mean some great stories for when I'm older. She's a very headstrong girl who has her moments of immaturity that even her best friend acknowledges. She's not a perfect person, and has issues to deal with that many kids may also be able to relate to. The book jumps right into these problems, such as divorce, dealing with a new family which includes new siblings, dating parents, and more. However, Nielson does it so skillfully, you can see it, yet it's not just blatantly out there. Kids might not notice it (but you never know), but as an adult I thought, "This could be good for kids who have to deal with this sort of thing." Not only does Violet find herself trying to sort out her parents' life, but has to deal with bullies, protect her little sister, handle her friendship, and figure out what to do when the really cute boy starts talking to her.
Especially after blurting out pamplemousse to him. I really want to tell you what that's about because it was just so darned cute, but I want you to read the book and find out for yourself.
Violet is a very human protagonist with her faults, but she's still a whole lot of fun. I loved Nielson's style of writing (done in first person) and everything that went down in this book. Let face it: I loved everything about this book. To add to that, I was giggling about a multitude of things long after I'd finally finished it. I didn't stop there. I emailed Susin to see if she'd sent a copy to George Clooney (and am proud to say I'm the catalyst that made it happen. Yay!), and I kept sneaking the book up to the Customer Services desk to showcase to everyone who walked up there. I'd like to add that I don't handsell a lot of books. During my entire near-3 year time working at B&N, there has only been one other title I've actively sought to get people to buy. Now I'm trying to find ways of getting this little nugget of joy into people's hands.
Six stars. Buy it and have a blast. That includes you too, George Clooney.
Originally posted on Epinions.com