Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Stars by Laura and Luke Jennings (Children's, 8 years +, 9/10E)

April 2013, Puffin, 224 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Themes: performing arts, boarding school life, sharing a bedroom with others, nerves, insecurity, never feeling good enough, not having an outstanding talent, being deaf, mean girl, striking a chord with another due to circumstances, badly breaking the rules, the truth in acting, tough ballet classes, making mistakes, finding out who you really are, bonds of friendship, saying sorry, looking to the future, unexpected opportunities

Content: teen romance, bullying, lots of humour

Summary from Puffin
Dreams are made and stars are born at the Arcadia School of Performing Arts.

Has Jess got what it takes?

Jessica Bailey's mum has left, her dad's moving abroad for work and Jess is starting over at boarding school. At first she's unsure of herself - then she meets her roommates and begins to feel at home.

But standards at Arcadia are high, and Jess soon starts to doubt her talents. She can't dance like Spike or sing like Ash and she doesn't have Foxy's style...

So when an amazing chance comes her way, she knows she has to take it...

Four friends dreaming of becoming... Stars.

Nayuleska's thoughts
I see the word boarding school and I go yay! I went yay a lot while reading Jessica and co's adventures. I loved how painfully unsure she was of everything, how she didn't feel like she belonged there. Jess's emotions are easy to relate to, including the sheer joy when an awesome thing happens, a whirlwind of anger and dread when confronted with an issue that changes her home life, her compassion in reaching out to a not exactly nice person, how she tentatively opens up to her new friends..The only time I thought she was an idiot was the romance side of things, but that's rarely something I'm interested in.

I love the distinct natures of the teachers who are rather unpredictable, I love the strength Spike has to counter prejudice for being deaf as well as her dancing talent, how Ash lives in the area I live, and I love how Foxy drag Jess into her wild plans which provide a huge learning experience for the four teen girls whose lives I'm eagerly diving into in book 2 just as soon as I've finished this review!

Suggested read
Another really awesome boarding school series is School Friends by Ann Bryant which includes Party at Silver Spires (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E) 

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