Title: Reel Life Starring Us
Author: Lisa Greenwald
Pub Date: 09/01/2011
Reviewed from: egalley received from publisher
Grades 4 and up
Ok, this one was fun. I've been meaning to read My Life In Pink and Green for ages - I have a coworker who raved about it! So I absolutely jumped at the chance to read Lisa Greenwald's new book. Reel Life is one of those rare books that tackles huge issues but very much does it as just something that happens when you tell a good story as opposed to being a book about huge issues. The new girl Dee and the most popular girl Chelsea are thrust together to do a project for school. Dee wants to be friends! Chelsea does too but her friends think Dee is weird because she's so into filming everything. Chelsea is dealing with a lot of stuff - her father just lost his job, boy issues, mono - and while she wants to be friends with the new girl she isn't quite strong enough right then to actually stand up to her old friends. And she's dealing with so much stuff personally that she keeps being an absolute poop head to Dee. I hate feeling preached too (who likes that?) so it's nice when the book just is a great story and there are always important things to learn from great stories.
I especially liked the boy sub-plot. Chelsea's friends are all convinced she has a crush on a certain guy and she doesn't think she does and she spends a lot of time angsting about that but when she finds out that the guy actually likes someone else she gets super jealous for a bit - not because of sour grapes and suddenly now she likes him but because she was still thinking and it jolted her to realize that it isn't just her decision. That isn't an angle I've seen often.
Anyway - if you or one of your patrons is in the market for a good school/friendship book with a heavy dose of film trivia, this is the book for you!