Teen Review: Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Fredrick

14 Jul

This is a guest post by my 13 year old daughter

Amelia’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really did enjoy this book. I found that it was a fun, light, and fast read. This book, along with being fun, I think was relatively well written (at least it was good enough to not take away from the fun-ness). I found the balance between the characters and the plot to be a good one.

One of the things I love about the mother-daughter book club books is how each of the girls has a different voice. I felt that the different writing styles was really good for identifying with the 5 very different girls: Emma is a writer that comes from a family full of books, who is slowly figuring that “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Jess is the smart farm girl that can sing, who recently came out of her shell and attends a boarding school where she  rooms with the snobby daughter of a senator. Cassidy is the only girl on a boys hockey team, who is having trouble with change. Megan is the aspiring fashion designer who finds herself in the middle of a war between her eco-friendly vegetarian mother and her fashionista grandmother. Becca is the Mother-Daughter book club’s newest member who, is still a “frenemy” with the most of the other girls in the book club.

I found the interaction with Savannah (Jess’s new roommate) interesting. She starts out making life for the mother-daughter book club awful. After “Operation New Roommate” backfires, she puts a very sticky surprise in the girls pillows. Later, she helps Jess, Cassidy, Megan, Becca, Zach and Darcy with a “not-so-secret-puppy” for Emma. She then ends up stealing Jess’s date to the dance. Finally she becomes good friends with Jess.

This is one of the few series where the characters age with me. When I read the first book I was about a year younger, maybe less, than the girls. When I read the second I was the same age, and in this book they are again about a year older by the end . I like how over the 3 years all of the girls have developed and changed to be a lot better of people. I also like how you can tell that the girls are getting older and how that affects their relationships with each other as they “race” to see who of the 5 girls is going to get the first kiss (not who they expected).

The book club chooses to read Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster when Jess receives an anonymous  scholarship for a boarding school. I found the way that they always found a reason not to tell the end of the book both funny and useful in helping people become more interested in reading Daddy Long Legs. Because I haven’t read Daddy Long Legs I was then interested in reading it.

The mothers of the book club decide to become pen pals with an other mother-daughter book club in Wyoming that is also reading Daddy Long Legs. I found the addition of the pen pals was a nice change. I liked the pen pals because each girl had a different relationship with their pen pal.

This was a light fun read that over all I enjoyed.

Amelia is 13 years old, and will be entering 8th grade in the fall.  When she isn’t at school, dance or practicing rhythmic gymnastics, there’s a good chance she’ll be reading a book!


Posted by on July 14, 2011 in books, Guest post, reviews


Tags: , , , ,

3 responses to “Teen Review: Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Fredrick

  1. Siobhan

    July 14, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Wow, these girls seem to lead busy lives!

  2. Ann

    July 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Good review.


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