Sunday, April 02, 2006

So far, this weekend has been all about procrastinating and recuperating. Usually, I "get stuff done" on Saturday so I can totally relax on Sunday, but this has been such a hectic two weeks that I decided to go on strike yesterday. I should have cleaned, done some shopping, and read Life of Pi for book club & the 75 or so submissions I agreed to read for the school's literary journal. Instead, I read four "pink" books, watched the White Sox, napped, and stayed up until nearly 4am watching the second season of Buffy.
So, today I will write, and read some of the stuff I'm supposed to, and I've already done dishes - and I'll probably watch some more Buffy.
I started out with My Not-So-Terrible-Time at the Hippie Hotel by Rosemary Graham. I'd planned to read Thou shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude and Other Commandments I Have Broken, but I discovered the two are companion novels & decided to read the first one first (first one published, that is - I'm a little uptight about this kind of thing). Turns out it doesn't matter; Hippie Hotel actually takes place right in the middle of Skater Dude, but neither ruins the other story. Let me explain.
Hippie Hotel is Tracy's story; her parents are divorced & her dad drags her on vacation for a Family Time program at a crazy hotel. Tracy's having trouble dealing with her parents' divorce, and she has some problems in the romance department herself - like she has no confidence around boys. But David, a local, seems interested in her, and flirtatious Kelsey and Beka (also at the hotel with their divorced parents) help Tracy find enough confidence to give David a chance.
Skater Dude is Kelsey's story. Just before leaving for Cape Cod & the Hippie Hotel, she dumped CJ, her famous skateboarding boyfriend. Tired of playing second fiddle to a skateboard, Kelsey enjoys a couple of weeks of summer fun & meets some new friends before returning home to discover that CJ, who can't handle the fact that a girl actually dumped him, has totally trashed her reputation. Ousted from her old crowd, Kelsey must figure out who she is not that she's not CJ Logan's girl.
Neither of these books break much new ground, but they're both fun reads that cover some important teen issues - divorce, self-confidence, the price of popularity and judging people when you don't have the whole story. Definitely worth a place on any teen's summer reading list.

Oh, and if you want CJ's side of the story, check out his blog at

Graham, Rosemary. My Not-So-Terrible Time at the Hippie Hotel. New York: Viking, 2003. ISBN 0670036110 $16.99
--- Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude and Other Commandments I Have Broken. New York: Viking, 2005. 0670060178


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