Luv Ya Bunches is a middle-grade book my 11 year old daughter (the target audience) loved. I (as an adult) found it interesting, but not compelling.
The publisher’s description:
What do Katie-Rose, Yasaman, Milla, and Violet all have in common? Other than being named after flowers, practically nothing. Katie-Rose is a film director in training. Yasaman is a computer whiz. Milla is third in command of the A list. And Violet is the new girl in school. They’re fab girls, all of them, but they sure aren’t friends. And if evil queen bee Medusa— ’scuse me, Modessa—has her way, they never will be. But this is the beginning of a new school year, when anything can happen and social worlds can collide . . .
When I read this book, my primary focus was on the characters. I liked the 4 girls that the story focused on. Each was a very distinct personality, and this showed not only in their approach to events in the book but in the way they told their stories.
The four girls all get caught up in a classic girl’s bullying scenario. The story follows them as they find ways to deal with the bully and build a healthier network of friendships. The ending scenario where they get their revenge on the bully was a little over the top, but made for entertaining reading.
The book uses a variety of styles (movie scripts, IM conversations, etc) to relay the girls conversations and thoughts. The chapters alternate point of view, so we can see each girl’s take on the situations that arise.
I found the language a bit flat, but overall, it’s a nice kid’s book.
My 11 year old daughter loved the book. When she finished, she e-mailed a friend to recommend it. That evening, she started a second pass.
She particularly liked the different viewpoints. She appreciated the author’s choice to have Violet narrate a key scene between the other three girls, since Violet was a bystander at that point, and could give a more neutral view of the events.
She also called out the different approaches at different times– Some of Katie-Rose’s sections are told as movie scripts. Yasmine writes in her blog. We see Internet chat between the girls. My daughter thought this made reading more interesting.
She thought the characters were realistic, and liked how they became friends even though they were so different. She also commented on how different her school is from the one in the book– I’m glad she appreciates it!
In general, this book was spot on for its target age range. I did have one issue of age appropriateness arise. After starting her second pass, my daughter asked me a question that I would have been perfectly happy to avoid for a few more years: “Mommy, what’s a pole dancer?”. It was a small, passing reference, and really wasn’t necessary. Oh well.
Thank you to Laura at ABRAMS for the opportunity to review Luv Ya Bunches.