I thought it was kind of funny that both books I read this week were books with covers that had girls wearing plaid skirts on them. Seems like that's kind of a thing. And both main characters go to boarding schools!
Maybe Tonight? by Bridie Clark
From the Publisher:
Maybe Tonight? by Bridie Clark opens as the reader is getting ready for the most exciting party of the year—Midwinter's Night Dream, set in the frosty woods just off campus—with her roommates and best friends Annabel Snow, Spider Harris, and Libby Monroe. Choices unfold quickly and the reader must decide which risks to take in pursuit of social status, adventure, success, and love.
Pros: The "Choose Your Own Adventure" format will appeal to those who have read books of this style in the past and enjoyed them. Those looking for romance have myriad opportunities to find it, as it's part of every decision. If readers don't like the ending they choose the first time, they can go back and re-write the story. Fans of short stories will appreciate that they don't have to read the entire book to get closure (their teachers may not share this sentiment).
Cons: I myself am not a fan of short stories, and this felt like a series of short stories (I did go back and try every permutations of the story, by making different choices every time). There was not enough development for me. Due to the nature of the story, many issues were skimmed over instead of being dealt with. I thought the many of the endings were too pat and they often felt abrupt.
Mature content makes this a better choice for a high school collection, but I'm not sure high school readers are still interested in choose your own adventure style books.
United We Spy by Ally Carter is the 6th and final book (sigh) in the Gallagher Girls series about Cammie Morgan an her spy school friends.
From the Publisher: Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle's elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.
Get ready for the Gallagher Girls' most astounding adventure yet as Ally Carter's New York Times best-selling series comes to breathtaking conclusion that will have readers racing to the last page.
Pros: All the characters we've come to love are part of the non-stop, heart pounding action. There are some unexpected plot twists that were nice to find. I am really happy that even though the characters in Carter's books are seniors, the material in the books is still appropriate for middle school readers. It's not necessarily an easy thing to do, but Carter pulls it off seamlessly!
Cons: I'll be sorry to see this series end, but I don't think this was Carter's strongest writing. I felt like some of the action was forced and while this series has always required suspension of disbelief, and I don't have a problem with that, this time it felt like it required too much, even for me. There were a few too many neatly tied together ends, too, which are sort of required at the end of a series, but I still didn't love them.
If you've read the rest of the series, you'll enjoy this climactic finish and will likely spend a few days mourning Cammie and the gang as you search for your next great adventure series! Appropriate for middle school and up..