March 4-10, 2012
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"I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end! Thirteen-year-old protagonist Kaley is both classy and sassy and her loyalty to her friend Jules is admirable, to say the least.
I totally fell in love with Kaley's new friend Maiyuki who is also an independent spirit as well as a willing and able cohort. Blend together a wonderful storyline with some truly memorable characters, add just the right touch of humor, and you've got a great read! Highly Recommended!"
- Sandra McLeod Humphrey
"Kaley is a delightful heroine in this novel. From the start she is loveable as a character, and the reader will find his/herself rooting for her...and at times for Jules as well.
The author takes care with the angst of starting anew: new school, new friends, new interests, etc. This is a natural part of process called "growing up," and this realistic portrayal is what will delight readers the most.
The heart of this novel revolves around Kaley trying to win her friend back. At times I found myself becoming frustrated with her, wanting her to just move on to better things, and better friends. After all, if Jules was truly her friend, would she be so hateful to Kaley, or most importantly, allow others to be? (Think Mean Girls times five).
Billington has created the ultimate monster in the character Meg. It makes me wonder if she herself had to contend with such a character in middle school. After all, haven't we all encountered the one person in school whose sole purpose was to make our daily school lives a living nightmare? I loathed Meg. I loathed everything about her character. In her, the author truly captures a realistic side to the true angst of growing up female.
Since the author has provided us with such a wretch in Meg, she also offers up delightful characters, creating a nice juxtaposition in those who come into Kaley's life. These characters help bring Kaley full circle as a character, and they provide the strength that helps with the pacing of the novel. My personal favorite is Travis, and that is all I will write about him. BUT, I do hope Billington writes a follow-up because I really want to read more about him.
And did I mention the cat fights? No? Ah, well...they are good and funny and clever. This part of the plot was reminiscent of The Parent Trap camp scenes at the start of the film.Like realistic fiction before, Life Was Cool until You Got Popular will strike a chord with readers of all ages, not just the tweens. For readers of Naylor's Alice books, Rennison's Georgia Nicholson books, or Myracle's The Fashion Disaster That Changed My Life, they too will enjoy this novel."