Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Ugly Girl Party by Ann Herrick

The Ugly Girl Party
by Ann Herrick

My rating: 2.5 stars

Publisher: Chaucer Publishing (June 12, 2017)
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Genre: Children's Reading | Bullying
Print Length: 174 pages
Available from: Amazon
Faith's wish to get off to a good start at her new high school is shattered on the first day, as she quickly discovers that drop-dead gorgeous Hunter and friends decide she lives in the "wrong" house and wears the "wrong" clothes. They systematically harass her and seem determined to make her life miserable. She fantasizes about how she'll get even some day when she is a famous singer/actress, but meanwhile just wants to make it through the day. She meets a couple of possible friends, but finds it hard to trust anyone.

When maybe-friend Julia tells her about the upcoming talent show, Faith is determined to win in order to impress her tormentors. Then nice-guy neighbor Riley invites her to the homecoming dance. She's excited to go until she gets there and realizes that something is up--something terrible. And when she reacts, she finds herself in danger of being suspended from school. Faith questions her own goals, decisions, and values as she struggles to find her way.

For tweens, teens, and adults who are young at heart

The Ugly Girl Party by Ann Herrick

The Ugly Girl PartyBeing the new girl at school is never easy and for Faith, it is only her sense of self that keeps her from drowning in the cruelty of her fellow high school students. Neither wealthy nor stylish, Faith has had to grow up quickly after the death of her mother two years prior, but she is still just a sophomore, still not equipped to handle everything that comes her way. One thing Faith can do is stand up to the bullying, the taunts and the laughter made at her expense, but when the cruelest trick of all is played on her and her outcast friends, what will happen?

Ann Herrick writes for tweens, giving them stories that they can relate to, scenarios they may witness or experience, but this time out THE UGLY GIRL PARTY may be sending out some signals that younger readers could find far from reality. The characters are high school sophomores who acted like upper elementary school children. While Faith’s character has backbone, her mental dialogue is that of an adult, a mature adult, not a young teen, while her actions are that of a much younger juvenile. As a grandparent, I wondered if I was too far removed from today’s youth, so I broke all protocol and asked my 12 year-old granddaughter to read this and give me her thoughts. Her words:

They act like babies! There is no way they are in high school. Faith sounds like she is too old to be in school. She also did not agree with the final outcome or resolution and stated her school has a No Bullying Policy where there are consequences for bullying. These thoughts were her own, I did not lead or coach her and yet, she drew the same conclusions I did.

I received this copy from Ann Herrick in exchange for my honest review. As a huge advocate for books for younger readers and one who has always been a fan of Ann Herrick's writing, I was very disappointed.

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