*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

"Chrissa" by Mary Casanova

I'm a little sad that I didn't enjoy this book very much.  Typically the words American Girl on the cover of a book means that I am in for a quality reading experience, but it felt like this book dropped the ball.  Chrissa starts on Chrissa's first day at her new school.  It is also Valentine's day, her favorite day of the year.  She gets assigned to sit at the same seat cluster as the "Mean Bees" and her day goes downhill from there.  The worst is when she only receives one Valentine- and she's certain that the rest have been stolen.  The rest of the book focuses around the Mean Bees bulling Chrissa and how she over comes the mean things they say and do to her.  

Now, don't get me wrong.  Bullying is certainly an important issue and one that should be taken very seriously.  However, I felt like this book was written to cover a topic that was not yet discussed in the American Girls world.  There didn't seem to be a lot of motivation for why the girls acted the way they did.  At one point the Mean Bees convince Chrissa's brother to pick on her as well.  That moment in the book seemed so out of character and it took me out of the story.  The writing came across as a little false, like the author either didn't care about what she was writing or that she isn't a strong writer (which is odd as I just finished the McKenna books and thought that the writing in those was just fine and they are by the same author).  There were also some subplots that could have been really interesting, but had little focus, especially Gwen's story (I would really like to see a separate book or two about her).  Since this book focuses on such an important issue, it's sad that I didn't think this book was well written.  I plan on reading Chrissa Stands Strong and really hope that it has a better focus and feels more realistic. 
Happy Reading!

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