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

*Love, Cajun Style* by Diane Les Becquets - young adult book review

Love, Cajun Style
by Diane Les Becquets
Young adult 304 pages Bloomsbury March 2007 Paperback    

In the Cajun South in the midst of a heat wave, Lucy, Evie and Mary Jordan are about to embark on the summer that will change the rest of their lives. As the weather turns hotter with each passing day, these girls will have plenty of adventures in skinny-dipping, bike riding and romance.

Skinny as a beanpole with stunning long, dark hair, Lucy Beauregard feels awkward in her own skin. She always knew that growing up would never be easy, given that her legs and arms seem to be a mile long and she lacks the grace of a gazelle. Spurned by her last boyfriend, her list of things to find isn’t topped by love. It isn’t until Dewey Savoi moves to town that she starts to feel that she might perhaps love again—that is, if what she’s feeling is truly love.

Dewey and his father aren’t the only new faces in Sweetbay, Louisiana. The high school has employed a new drama teacher named Ted Banks. After his wife, Savannah, comes into Mr. Beauregard’s flowers/gifts/beauty supply store in search of a new look to catch her husbands eye, it is arranged for Lucy to baby-sit for the young couple as they try to give their lukewarm marriage a chance to heat up. Unfortunately for Savannah, Ted has a wandering eye that can see nothing but the beautiful Lucy.

It isn’t until after tryouts for A Midsummer Night’s Dream that Lucy catches on to her drama teacher’s intentions. Being kissed and groped in the black backstage area isn’t exactly what Lucy had in mind when Mr. Banks asked her to drop by that afternoon. Conflicted between her budding sexuality and her guilt over kissing her married teacher, Lucy turns to her friends for advice. However, Evie is starting her own summer romance and Mary Jordan has her own set of boyfriend troubles. Turning to her mom isn’t an option, since she seems to always be over at Mr. Savoi’s house, giving him “cooking lessons” and “studying his art.” As everyone in Sweetbay seems to be falling in and out love, Lucy must try to sort out her own feelings as best as a confused teenager with raging hormones can.

Absolutely delightful, the sleepy town of Sweetbay is full of sassy and whimsical characters reminiscent of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café. Diane Les Becquets has written a gripping story fraught with the usual trials of adolescence (body image, lust/love, friendship) that is filled with humor and tenderness. Highly recommended for teen girls who are fans of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares or the Alice books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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  Meghan Fryett/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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