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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rule of Thirds, Chantel Guertin

From the Publisher:
Sixteen-year-old Pippa Greene never goes anywhere without her camera. She and her best friend/supermodel-in-training Dace long ago mapped out their life plan: Pippa will be the noted fashion photographer, and Dace the cover girl. But ever since last spring, things have changed for Pippa—and her junior year at Spalding High proves to have its own set of challenges. Not only is Vantage Point, the statewide photography competition, in three short weeks, but her mandatory volunteering placement lands her at St. Christopher's Hospital, a place Pippa never wanted to set foot in again. With humor and pluck, she navigates her new role as a candy striper (watch out for Code Yellows), her changing relationship with her best friend (goodbye, Honesty Pact), and—perhaps most stressful of all—her new love interests (yes, love interests plural). Will Pippa make it to Vantage Point without having a panic attack? Will either one of the guys prove less sketchy than her last boyfriend? Can she and Dace figure out a way to dream big and be best friends? One thing is certain: real life is a lot more complicated than a photograph.

Strengths: I really enjoyed this book's pacing and character development. Even though one of the characters was a slimeball, and I couldn't stand him, his character was well-developed.  I loved that the main character's name was Philadelphia, even though only one person called her that.  I liked that there was a part of Pippa' life that readers had to discover and I thought that the way it was revealed, in little bits, was interesting. Pippa's panic attacks were realistic and something many kids deal with. It's good to have books that show characters in these kinds of situations because it helps readers in similar situations feel less alone.  Of course, as a photographer, I loved that the book was about photography.

Weaknesses: The slimeball character didn't ever seem to end up with any true consequences, and in fact his behavior seemed to be pretty much glossed over.  In real life, things sometimes happen like that, but hopefully not very often, especially when it's so blatant. I would have liked it if Pippa made a more overt effort toward making sure he did not get away with his inappropriate behavior.  I didn't like Dace, Pippa's best friend very much.  I didn't think she was a particularly well developed character and she seemed pretty shallow, although part of that turned out to be an act. 

This was a sweet romance with some twists appropriate for 8th grade and up.

I read an e-ARC of this book which will be published on October 1.

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