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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students




*Hot Mess: Summer in the City* by Julie Kraut and Shallon Lester- young adult book review
 
Also by Julie Kraut:

Slept Away
 
Hot Mess: Summer in the City
by Julie Kraut and Shallon Lester
Grades 10+ 352 pages Delacorte May 2008 Paperback    

When Emma Freeman's boyfriend heads off to college for summer orientation, she thinks that he'll return in a week and that they'll be able to spend the rest of the summer together. They have big plans to lifeguard together to catch some rays (and make out behind more than a few sunshades). But after a strange girl answers Brian's phone, Emma decides that her summer plans need a drastic change.

She takes her parents up on their offer to send her to New York City for the summer to work at an internship secured by a friend of a friend, and she talks her best friend Rachel into going with her. They are going to have so much fun in the city just like Carrie and Samantha!

But when the girls arrive in the city, nothing is like they fantasized. Why are hot dogs off the street so cheap but everything else so expensive? Their parents agreed to foot the bill for the girls to spend the first couple of nights at a hotel, but they quickly discover that looking for an apartment can be like looking for a sane person in a bucket full of crazy. And what's with the weirdly large number of people napping in the street?

Hot Mess is a hot mess of fun - I completely enjoyed reading about Emma and Rachel and their adventures in the city. Kraut and Lester get the voice of a teenager exactly right, and the scrapes Emma gets herself into are hilarious. I think I laughed out loud at least once every ten pages, and that doesn't happen often. Older readers may pause at the idea of Emma and Rachel's parents sending them off to live in New York without solid living arrangements, but the resulting hilarity that ensues as Emma and Rachel attempt to find an apartment that is within their (meager by NY-standards) price range makes up for this bit of unbelievability. I didn't want the book to en, and I will be on the lookout for their future collaborations in the hopes that they will be just as un-put-downable as Hot Mess is.

 
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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  Jilian Vallade/2008 for curled up with a good kid's book  






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