Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: Changing My Wardrobe by Deb Hanrahan

Title: Changing My Wardrobe
Author: Deb Hanrahan
Published: May 26th 2011 by Philyra Publishing
Book Description:
Lindsey, a high school freshman, views her new school as a place to start over. With the help of her friends, she hopes that a change in her wardrobe will prompt a change in her image. She has some success until her long-time nemesis, Avery, reminds Lindsey of her place. Without asking for help from the adults, the main character and her friends struggle to manage the bullying. Despite their efforts, tensions rise, and people get hurt. The ending of this book will leave the reader shocked and heartbroken.

Changing My Wardrobe is a cautionary tale about the immutable problem of bullying. This story not only looks at bullying from the victim's point of view but also explores the motives behind the aggressors’ actions. Changing My Wardrobe demonstrates the fluid and complex nature of bullying by shining a light on the contributing factor of social media.

                 Sneak Peek and Review Below


   
 Excerpt 



Teeny’s logic made sense to a point. If I wanted my life to be better, I needed to make some changes, and high school was the perfect place for me to do that. But I wasn’t convinced that a makeover was the answer. Changing my life couldn’t be as easy as changing my wardrobe, could it? After all, my face, my body, and my personality would be the same. Avery would still recognize me; she would still see me as the “little mouse.”

My anxiety began to rise as I walked away from my safety net. I knew that I wouldn’t have made it through junior high without Teeny and Grouper; they always had my back. But now things had to change. I couldn’t lean on them as I had done in the past. It was time for me to stand on my own two feet, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that yet.

We walked in silence for a while, trying to shake the negative energy that had engulfed us during our encounter with the devil. I felt as if I had been hit by a bus, and I had only spent a few minutes with that woman. I couldn’t help wondering what it was like to live with her. Did she talk to Avery like that all the time? What about her husband? Was he a victim of hers as well? Or was he her partner in crime, helping his wife strip Avery of any self worth and dignity that she might still possess? No wonder Avery was such a jerk. How could she have a kind view of the world when the people who are supposed to love her the most, treat her so badly?

It was a relief when Avery was with Cal because then she would ignore me. I could only guess that Cal didn’t want to upset Marco, so he kept her in line. For a short time, both Cal and Avery kept to themselves at lunch and outside of school. The mall, the picture, and the accident seemed to have been forgotten. I was starting to think that all the crazy drama was over. But our two groups only had a brief span of peaceful coexistence before our lives grew increasingly intertwined, causing a chain of events that would alter our futures forever.

My Thoughts:

‘As my iPod played “Cosmic Love” by Florence + the Machine, the growing pile of clothes on my bedroom floor made me anxious. I stood in front of my full-length mirror, trying on the last outfit that I owned. My closet was empty, and I still had nothing to wear for my first day of high school. The sun was setting, and I was running out of time.’

Alright, I’m going to start of with a little litany about myself when I started reading this book. At first, I actually looked at my copy and actually browsed how many pages this would be in my reader and it was about 138 pages that’s why I procrastinated before reading this. As I have told you before I’m seriously a fast reader. Maybe it’s because everyday I read fanfictions in the Internet when I don’t have a novel to read and that’s my hobby. So, to wrap it up I’ve read this book for about 3-4 hours and after finishing it, I’m writing my review now with tears in my eyes.

This novel is an easy fast read and it’s like reading a diary of some sorts. It depicts the life of a teenage girl who’s trying to get out from her stereotypical self when she was in junior high and reinventing herself once she enters High School. This made me remember the typical angst of us, even if we are not in our teens anymore, to look presentable because we want others to have a good first impression of us. The book shows how people value what others saw them and it also become the source of several hurt and misunderstandings.

Ms. Deb Hanrahan’s characters in the story really depict different types of teenagers and normal people here in our world and I absolutely adore them. I feel like I know each and everyone of them even the ever-elusive father of Marco or the non-presence parents of Cal.

I love Lindsey, in her untrustful, kind and unsure personality of hers. Despite the fact that she changes some bits of herself, which I think was only the way she dresses; she still stayed true to herself. She never changed her attitude on being an honor student and being happy to get any extra credit she can. There is also a part where I think that she really showed that she’s like any other teenager where she was a bit prejudice when she met Jocelyn and she can’t help but feel like she’s intruding in her small but tight group of three. Jocelyn suddenly entering really shook her and it made her feel like she was outside of her comfort zone. Being close of, it takes a lot for her to accept someone new and it may come from the fact that she was bullied through name calling when she was in Junior High.

Teeny, her ever-loyal best friend, is almost the direct opposite of her. She the typical everyone wants to be friends with. She’s quirky and every bit a unique fashionista. She’s very strong in her own way although at times you can see her break down when everything else fails. She takes loyalty to heart and at times you might feel like she approach some things the wrong way but I find her very strong.

Grouper, Teeny’s twin and the other friend in Lindsey’s group, is your very funny and laid back guy. Although, he doesn’t show his funny side in the story, he just claimed it and that it comes with the hair, the group can’t be without him. Grouper is the person you can ask for opinions regarding certain matter and he would tell it to you directly and you can really appreciate his advice. He’s certainly the mood maker and the person you would really want to be around you.

Jocelyn, the very talkative girl in Lindsey’s gym class, is as Grouper says, “Jocelyn is weird; she knows it, and she doesn’t care. That’s part of the reason why she’s so awesome. She is who she is, take her or leave her.” And despite Lindsey’s wariness against her, Jocelyn is really a likable character.

And then there is Marco! What can I say about Marco? For me, he’s your dream guy. He’s like the guy you've been searching your whole life for. (or I’m just exaggerating) The only problem with Marco is he cares too much that he’s sometimes blind to a fault and he always smell like chlorine. Lindsey thinks that sexy but for me… I’m not so sure but that’s not important.

Lastly, the antagonist of the story, Avery and Cal. They are the popular people in the story with a really bad history. Their meanness came rooted from the fact that their parents kind of abandon them or criticize them to a point. The way Ms. Deb compared their character with Anikin from Star Wars and you can’t help but just agree with it.

One thing I’m having ambiguous feelings with is the ending of the story. That one made me cry but it made me think that it’s not necessarily needed. I mean we can do without it but I think the author wants to make something different and send a lesson with it but I’m not so sure with the ending although I won't tell you what’s it all about because that is for you to find out and it would really add spice when you reach the end.

Overall, I like this book because it shows a lot of teenage angst minus all the drama because in a sense you won’t see the characters whine about the situation but it makes you realize a lot of things. It makes you see that whether you’re a villain or maybe a hero, there is always a story behind you and why you became like that. This also gave some prospective to families out there how things that are happening in our life and the way we are came from the way our family raise us.

I recommend this book to fellow teens, to our parents, and even to those people who are not in their teens anymore but they want to relieve some memories that happened in their high school life.

I see 4 whales swimming for this novel. :)






6 comments:

  1. Wonderful review! I too had tears in my eyes when I finished reading, and recommended this book on my blog to teens and parents alike. I think its a great book for teens to connect with the characters, and a great way for parents to connect with their kids in ways we might have forgotten.

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    1. thanks for liking my review. I was totally shock at the end and confuse and then in the end I ended up crying. And I agree with your recommendation this totally fits teens and parents alike. thanks again.

      ~TheDreamer

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  2. Book Whales,
    I'm very impressed with your blog. You are an amazing group of young people. I'm sure you all have bright futures ahead!
    Dreamer,
    Thanks for reading and reviewing CMW. I laughed at your comments about the chlorine.

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    Replies
    1. Ms. Deb Hanrahan,
      It's such an honor for us to actually read and review your work. And it makes it more special for us when you read and like our review.
      And about the chlorine thing, when I was reading the novel I'm seriously contemplating what's so sexy with that type of smell but what the heck Marco's sexy and a swimmer so he can pull off that kind of smell. haha

      ~TheDreamer

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    2. I just love the smell of the pool (chlorine.) It reminds me of summer and fun... I've always loved it. I guess it was wrong to assume everyone felt the same way. Thanks for the laugh!

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    3. no problem. Although, you do have a point with the pool thing. especially now that's it's scorching hot. Your welcome and we hope we could read more of your works in the future :)

      ~TheDreamer

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