Sunday, October 16, 2011

Teen Reads Week: My Lunatic Life

Author: Sharon Sala
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books  ( August 2011)

She plays for Team Spirit. High school senior Tara Luna's got all the usual teen problems: a new school, her attraction to a hunky guy, feuds with the Mean Girls, being regarded as an oddball outsider-PLUS she has psychic powers, a duo of protective, meddlesome ghosts AND an angry, threatening teen girl ghost who wants Tara to solve her murder-or else. Now you know why she calls this "my lunatic life.

I am a big fan of Sharon Sala's books.  I have read most of them. When I saw that she was delving into the YA genre, I was very curious.  My Lunatic Life is the first in a new series  that  features 17YO Tara Luna.  She is a psychic who has also has 2 ghosts who are her best friends.  She has moved around most of her life with her Uncle Pat who raised her.  

Tara is a great character.  She is confident, headstrong and responsible.  Used to being the new girl, she doesn't let the teasing from the popular girls get to her.  She isn't afraid to stand up for herself. I loved the two ghosts that follow her around, especially, Millicent.  She adds some nice comic relief to the mix as she is constantly mixing up common slang words.  The mystery  of who kidnapped Bethany wasn't easy to figure out since the reader has to figure it out along with Tara through her visions.  That aspect is always a plus for me.

This was a great set up for the series. Since it did end in a cliffhanger, I look forward to the next one which I think is coming out soon.  I want to know more about Tara and her family "gift".  I only have 2 complaints about the book.  First, I hate the cover.  The outfit that she has on is not what Tara in the book would wear as she is more the jeans and T-shirt kind of girl.  I often wonder if the cover artists read the book first.  Thigh highs, really? The second thing is that I felt like the writing itself was not up to Ms. Sala's standards.  It was almost like it was "dumbed down".  I'm not sure if this was a deliberate attempt to try to appeal to the YA reader or not.  I hope the next book goes back to her level of writing that I know she capable of in her "adult" books.

In any case, I do recommend this one for all YA readers. It was a short book, so it can be read pretty quickly.   It is clean, so no sex, swearing or violence. I think Tara will be a favorite character in the future.


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