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Book Review: Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice

Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice is a young adult horror novel originally published in April 1997.  Marnie and her cousin Peter drive up to the mansion that Marnie's father rented for the summer ahead of her father.  When the cousins arrive at the mansion called Stonycraig and settle in, Marnie is nervous because she thought she saw a shadow in one of the windows.  Then, she starts hearing a woman crying late at night.  Are the stories about Stonycraig being haunted true? This is a book I originally read as a teenager, and I remember being impressed by the storyline and writing.  I recently decided to reread it as an adult to see if it was as good as I remembered.  I have to say it was phenomenal.  Well-written and unputdownable.   Even though there were parts that came back to me as I made my way through Music From The Dead , I still found it to be perfectly eerie and creepy.  There was even a little bit of romance but nothing inappropriate for a tween or teen.  The only com

Book Review: Golden Girl (Sweet Dreams, #169) by Jane Ballard



Do you remember the book fairs that came to your elementary and middle school? They were so much fun for me especially when I could find books that were hard to come by. The book fair at my middle school had some teen romance books for sales that were part of the Sweet Dreams book series. In sixth grade, one of the books in the series caught my attention . . . Golden Girl (Sweet Dreams, #169) by Jane Ballard.

Golden Girl (Sweet Dreams, #169) by Jane Ballard is about a girl named Claire Montgomery who is dared by her brother Joe to audition for the Trent's Department Store "Golden Girl" spokesperson position. If chosen, she will film television commercials and appear in their print ads for a year. Much to Claire's surprise, she's selected as the spokesperson and will work closely with the executive producer's son, Ben Riley, who is the high school heartthrob.

What originally intrigued me to buy Golden Girl (Sweet Dreams, #169) was that it had to do with modeling and acting, which is something I did as a child and teen. I absolutely fell in love with the book and reread it numerous times. In my quest to reread my way through my childhood, I decided to pick this book up again.

Right off the top, one of the things that bothered me as an adult is that the script for the commercial audition was called copy. This may be the term used for a script in the advertising world, but in the acting world, casting directors and actors call it sides. Don't ask me why because I really don't know the reasoning behind it, but trust me on this! There were other things that bothered me, but they were very minor issues that didn't really affect the telling of the story.

With that being said, some of the characters were perfectly written. Lana Boyson was one of those characters. Having been to numerous auditions, Lana's little speech was a perfect example of how some actors try to psych out their competition. On top of that, Lana is also the perfect example of a "mean girl". I can't get over how well this character is written.

Another character that was perfectly written, in my opinion, was the main character of Claire Montgomery . . . a little insecure and a little nerdy. Who hasn't second guessed themselves once or twice after a job interview? I know I have. And, as a teenager, I know I've had a crush on a boy and obsessed about him to no end. I think that's just a rite of passage in a way. Jane Ballard really captured the essence of a teenage girl with the character Claire Montgomery, and my teenage self completely related to her. As an adult, I was reminiscing about how I felt about my high school crushes.

Being an only child, I don't know how sibling relationships work, but I'd like to think that how the relationship between Claire and her brother Joe is portrayed is how it really is between teenage siblings . . . giving each other a hard time about things but proud of each other and supporting each other when it counts. I really enjoyed how this brother / sister relationship was depicted.

After finishing my reread of Golden Girl (Sweet Dreams, #169) by Jane Ballard, I could see why I loved this book as a kid and reread it so many times that the book is actually falling apart and missing part of the back cover! It is a compelling read and brought back all the feels. This is a perfect romance book for kids eleven and older. It is very chaste so parents don't have to worry about their young kids reading about inappropriate topics for their age. And unlike some of the earlier books in the series, I think it would be a lot more relatable to kids today. Don't get me wrong, I liked a lot of the earlier books, but I just think Golden Girl would be more engaging to today's youth. All in all, I gave Golden Girl five out of five stars and would highly recommend it to tweens and teens.

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