Tuesday, October 13, 2009

REVIEW - The Fruit of My Lipstick

Title: The Fruit of My Lipstick
Author: Shelley Adina
Genre: Christian YA
Got it from: Library
Why I read it: Second in a series
Grade: B

New Yorker Gillian Chang starts her second term at posh Spencer Academy boarding school in San Francisco prepared to focus on her studies, her faith, and her friends. She plays a dozen musical instruments and can recite the periodic table of the elements backward. She's totally prepared for everything--except love! She's falling hard for Lucas Hayes, who isn't even a senior yet and is already aiming at a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford. The problem is, she never seems to be able to measure up and be the girlfriend he wants. He's under a lot of pressure from his parents to achieve--maybe that's why he's short-tempered sometimes. But even a thick-skinned girl like Gillian can only take so much. With her heart on the line, Gillian conceals more and more from her friends. So when she's accused of selling exam answer sheets, even her girlfriends, Lissa Mansfield and Carly Aragon, wonder if it can be true. Can Gillian hang onto her integrity--and her faith--when she loses her heart to Lucas?

My Review:
I'm still not liking the "it's all about us" premise, which is repeated throughout the book, using those exact words.  I get it--that's what the series is called.  Move on.  Now that I've got my obligatory complaining about YA novels out of the way (I don't know why I do it), I will say that I thought this was a well written book.

The main character was a little hard to like at times, and I kept wondering why these teens in these novels are always so stupid.  Why can't they see what everybody else sees?  Why do they keep making stupid mistakes?  And then I remembered the huge mistakes I made as a teen.  Looking back with an adult perspective, I can see how dumb I was, but during that time I sure didn't think that.  So I'm trying to have a little more grace when it comes to YA novels.  The characters are true to how teens act, for the most part.

The mystery of who is selling exam answer sheets adds to the story, although I figured out pretty early on who it was.  It was nice having a little extra in there, even though at the same time, the jumping to conclusions done by the characters was a bit too much.  Maybe even a bit unbelievable.  But the story was good, and I like the message that I'm starting to see in this series--that girls don't need to change who they are or go against their beliefs to get a boy.  At least, I hope that's the message teen girls get out of this series, because it's definitely there.  I would recommend this one.

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