Friday, May 24, 2013

Little Women And Me

by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Emily March, a middle sister who constantly schemes to get boys’ attention from her sisters, is magically drawn into the 1860s world of Little Women, as a fifth sister. Deciding that she has been put into the story for a reason – to save Beth’s life – she charges forth, oblivious to her anachronistic speech and behavior… only to get sidetracked by rivalry with the similarly creative Jo and by the arrival of Laurie, the love interest for one or more of the girls.

This is a generally simplistic novel, aimed unabashedly at teen girls (there’s talk of bras and strategic shaving and periods). The “romantic” plot and Emily’s lesson that she doesn’t always need to get boys’ attention just for the sake of attention is fairly heavy-handed, and there’s very little a young reader could learn about the world of Jo and Amy March in these pages. I thought Baratz-Logsted was trying to have her character both ways – literate and book-loving, yet completely, like, spacey about language and customs the way any teen girl would be. The extra twist at the end was unexpected and rather fun, but the plot ran too much toward the boys-and-makeup line than the trapped-in-a-good-book story I was expecting.

two stars

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