Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Teen review: Magical realism

Autumn Falls is the first novel in a series by Bella Thorne, apparently highly influenced by events that have occurred in her own life. The book is 213 pages long. It is a story about a teenage girl who--under tragic circumstances--must move away from her hometown where she grew up. She dreads the move, as most girls her age would. She can't bear the idea of being apart from her best friend Jenna, and saying goodbye to all the family memories she's enjoyed in the town of Stillwater. As well as moving, she must also learn to cope with the heartache and emotions connected with the death of a loved one.

Now more than ever, Autumn must call on all her courage and face being the new girl--but when the not-so-nice queen bee of the new school targets Autumn, being the new girl becomes a lot tougher! Aside from earning a spot on the wrong side of the "cool" crowd's list, Autumn uncovers the close relationship her crush has with them and is torn between moving on or following her heart. Furthermore, embarrassing accidents make it harder to shy away from unwanted attention, but, with some new friends she makes along the way, Autumn won't face the attention completely alone. In addition, with the help of a wish-granting journal, Autumn will either create a recipe for disaster or use it as the perfect ingredient to fix the mess she's in!

This was a cute, lighthearted novel--it reminds me of something I might see on The Disney Channel. I'd rate this book a 2.5 out of 5 stars because it did make me laugh out loud a couple of times, which earned me a few awkward stares from my family. I also admired the courage it must've taken Bella Thorne to publish a book with so many personal elements, such as her father's and grandmother's passing. Aside from that, though, there's not much else to the book. There was a lack of suspense, the writing wasn't great, and I didn't feel attached to any of the characters. However, I didn't dislike the book, it was entertaining. I would recommend this book to a middle school audience or as a "transition" book--something for when the reader craves a light read after an emotional roller coaster, which most YA books cause. This would also probably appeal more to readers who enjoy contemporary books. Although the cover is cute and appealing, I felt a lot more could have been incorporated into it, as it doesn't really reflect the contents. I would encourage others to read and enjoy this book too.

Reviewed by Melody, grade 11

Editor's note: Burbank Public Library doesn't own this, but it is on order in response to a request, so we will have it soon.

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