Monday, March 3, 2014


Well, it's a new week and we DIDN'T get as much snow as predicted!  Yes!  Although it can be fun to be snuggled inside with a good book, I am thankful for spring to get here soon.

A few weeks ago I read Panic by Sharon Draper, so that's what I'm reviewing today.  Even though Draper's books are super popular in my library, this was my first of hers to read.  I chose it because she visited our middle school and I wanted to read something of hers before hearing her speak.

And let me say, Sharon Draper is a hoot!  She was absolutely hilarious!  Once she got that microphone, she was talking with the students as if she had known them for years, and I just loved listening to her.  And I appreciated her speaking to the students about how they most likely won't get published as middle school students--even though it is great to have big dreams, so many students expect publishing to be an easy business, and it is far from it!  She used the Olympics as an example--they need to be training and practicing already but probably won't make the "big Games" until they're older.  Very fitting and creative!

Unfortunately, I wasn't the biggest fan of Panic, as you'll see below.  But, like I said, Draper's books are really popular, so I know she has an audience that loves her work.

Do you notice that the butterfly is pinned down?  I think this cover is very clever!
  • Standalone novel
  • Realistic fiction

The Gist:
Diamond is in a dance troupe and loves taking dance classes with her friends.  Her troupe is preparing for their upcoming production of Peter Pan and Diamond, like most of the girls, wants the part of Wendy.  But she doesn't get Wendy (or Tinker Bell, or Tiger Lily)...she gets Mr. Smee.  Depressing.  While in the mall one day, she is approached by a man who is auditioning dancers for an upcoming movie he's making, and his movie just happens to feature some of the hottest young stars in the industry.  Diamond leaves with him to audition, only to discover that he's actually just kidnapping her in order to make sex videos. 

What I Loved:
  • I just love the portrays something beautiful that desperately wants freed.
  • Diamond isn't the only one telling the story--her dance mates also speak, and I appreciated the multiple points of view.
  • Diamond and Layla's situations, though very different, also have pointed similarities.  Their struggle against oppressive men really carried the book.
What I Didn't Love:
  • Even though I liked having multiple characters tell the story, I felt like Diamond's story just wasn't told enough.  She'd only get a few pages while the other characters would each get 13+.  Her situation was the most interesting to me so I wanted more of it.
  • Ok, I'm just going to throw it out there--I thought the writing was cheesy and cliche.  I know, I know!  Like I said, I LOVED meeting Sharon Draper, but I just couldn't handle her writing.  For example, one chapter ends with the line Justin and Layla sat quietly in the darkness of the auditorium, but for the first time in a long time, Layla was beginning to see a bit of light.  I just couldn't handle it.
  • Diamond's "friends" didn't worry about her as much as I expected--they were pretty consumed with their own lives after she'd only been missing for a few days.
  • This book is meant for high school students, and I felt like the plot was high school but the writing was middle school.  
My favorite quote:  
"'Ah. Let me go dig out my book called Why Women Do Stuff.'
'You need to write it, Dad.  Guys my age could use it.'
'The whole thing would be two hundred blank pages, kiddo.  The real answer is, nobody knows!'"

I hate to give a critical review, but this one just didn't work for me.

But I'll be designing an outfit for Diamond on Wednesday, so come back to check it out!  Plus check out an outfit tomorrow that I put together for a night out with the girls!

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