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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Ultimate Sister Disaster by Jane Mendle

Title: My Ultimate Sister Disaster
Author: Jane Mendle
ISBN: 9780312369040
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Page #: 198
Source: BEA hand-me-down.

"If there were a way to pick your family, fourteen-year-old Franny might not pick her own. Her father is a hipster boutique owner who's constantly 'friending' her on Facebook; her mother is off in Kenya jump-starting her stalled anthropology career; and her sister, Zooey, eleven months older and eight inches taller, is a precocious prima ballerina. Lately, Zooey's so absorbed with her burgeoning ballet career that she barely seems to notice Franny. And since Zooey attends a top ballet conservatory, Franny's on her own navigating the brutal halls of her Manhattan prep school, a first-year trying to get noticed at the school paper (and by its soulful, long-lashed editor in chief).

But everything changes when Zooey breaks her leg and her dancing comes to a grinding halt. Her ballet dreams shattered, she begins to hone in on Franny's 'normal' life and friends. Franny feels terrible for Zooey, but when her encroachment starts to extend to Franny's longtime crush, Franny begins to wonder if her sister might just be her worst competition."
First Lines:

"It's not like I'm complaining. Really. Because I guess my life could be a whole lot worse than it really is."
Page 1

I honestly didn't realize that I have read something by this author before. A few years ago, I picked up Kissing in Technicolor - I think I got it from a library book sale. So I probably have it stashed away somewhere. I recall liking it, but I don't really remember what it was about. That was actually before I started blogging and being a librarian, both. Go figure. And it looks like I need to go back and read Better Off Famous? - because that's the one written about the most, it seems.

I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed this newest book by Mendle. I did have to crank through the beginning though. It didn't run as smoothly as I like, sometimes. But soon the story took off and I got really involved. I think part of my interest in this book is the sisterly relationship... because I don't have a sister and I've always thought about what that would be like. Seems like this book shows all sides of it!

There are several things about this story that seem a little unrealistic - I mean, how many people have parents that far out there. I mean, perhaps NYC is a bit more prone to the random types... but I guess it seems weird because people like that are so few and far between. At least, in my bubble.

This is one of those cute and safe romances that takes you on lots of other adventures as well. It's partially about a girl who is finding out who she is and who she wants to be. That aspect of the story was really strong and I think a lot of girls will identify with it. And conveniently, there are boys involved. Of course.

I think that girls from middle grades up through high school would enjoy this story. Even though it's about a girl who is 14, I think the older girls will appreciate the relationships and the sisterly drama. It's a wonderful story and I will be excited to pass it along to the girls at my library. This is also a story that I could see a continuation from. There's a lot more pieces that could be taken on - and I would love to see the next step in the girls' lives. Here's hoping!
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