BOOK REVIEW: This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee

Gema is a 19-year old from Miami, FL. She loves reading and writing young adult fiction and claims to pass out in the presence of sterile wit.

This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee

272 pages, Aladdin, $5.99, Ages 9-13

“Your problem, Evie, is that you have all these bloody rules about yourself.”

Evie is stuck in a rut. She’s starting seventh grade and has had the same best friends her entire life. It wouldn’t be too bad if her friends didn’t know just how to annoy her. Nisha teases and tries to dictate her life. Lily tries calms Evie down when Nisha’s done doing it. Evie’s only escape is home, where cell phones occupy her parents and her overachieving big sister demands silence to study.

Enter Francesca.  The niece of Evie’s mysterious neighbor, Francesca is vivacious, impulsive, has a questionable fashion sense and claims to be psychic. But as far as Evie is concerned, Francesca is nothing more than a liar. The more Evie tries to get away from her, the more she’s thrown in Francesca’s direction.  Finally, Evie ends up partnered with Francesca in a history assignment. But what starts off as a school project becomes a scheme that can change the lives of four people- not counting a dog.

I loved this book! Evie represents all of us at some point in our lives when everything is a dark shade of gray. The rut of being in seventh grade is the rut we eroded into either in school, at home, or in our friendships.  Francesca is the friend you want and fear. She distorts the shades of gray with her colorful personality. Her methods are questionable, her results are disastrous but her heart is always in the right place.

The story in this middle grade book is simple: a seventh grade girl stuck is in a rut and her new friend tries to save her. But the words on the pages go much deeper than that. It’s a story of gaining self-esteem, of not taking yourself too seriously, and accepting the flaws that make us all unique. I promise you’ll laugh every couple of pages and gasp at the twists. But in order to do that, you must read it This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee!

(Available: 4/27/2010)

Disclaimer:

New FTC guidelines say that I must mention if I received a book I’m giving a thumbs up to for free or not. So for the record, all the books that I’ve reviewed/will review were given to me for free for the purpose of reviewing. I judge a book on its literary content and not on how well I know, or don’t know, the author. Essentially, I am here to tell you, the reader, if I think a book is worth your time and money or not. Until (if ever) the FTC realizes the error in assuming that blog-reviewers are less honest than newspaper reviewers, this disclaimer will appear in all of my upcoming book reviews.

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