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Book Review: Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau is a coming of age novel taking place in Baltimore, Maryland. During the 1970's, fourteen year old Mary Jane is caught in the middle of her family's conservative ideals and the progressive ideals of the Cone family where she is a summer nanny. Mary Jane is a sheltered teen who enjoys cooking with her mother, listening to Broadway Show Tunes, and singing in the church choir. On the first day of work, she is shocked at the mess in the Cone's home and introduces them to home cooked meals and keeping the house clean. In return, Mary Jane gets a front row seat to sex, drugs, and rock & roll. This novel was the selected for the book club I belong to. Again, this is a novel that I likely wouldn't have chosen to read on my own, but I was glad I did. Mary Jane is the first novel I've read by Jessica Anya Blau, and I was impressed with her storytelling.  Touching on race, class, and stereotypes, along with drugs and infidelity, it reminded

Book Review: Girl on Pointe by Chloe Lukasiak

Several years ago, I saw a commercial on the Lifetime Channel advertising a reality show about dancers and their moms called Dance Moms, and I was intrigued by it. So, I made sure to watch it when it came on, and I loved the show. I didn't even realize at first that I was watching the second season! (That's what I get for not having cable for a couple of years.) Chloe Lukasiak became my favorite dancer on the show because she was the underdog, and her mom, Christy Lukasiak was one of my favorite moms; the other moms that were my favorites were Holly Frazier and Jessalyn Siwa.

Fast forward to 2018 . . . I heard that Chloe had published her first book called Girl on Pointe. Since I loved Dance Moms so much, I decided to support Chloe by buying her book, especially since I felt like she was the underdog on the show. I finally made time to read her book this year.

I enjoyed reading Girl on Pointe because it gave some insight to Chloe's time on Dance Moms that I might not have read elsewhere. The fact that she kept those parts as positive as she could shows a lot of maturity for a young adult. It's also filled with little tidbits of her life and short stories and poems that she's written. What I enjoyed the most is that Chloe seems to be very grounded and hasn't let fame go to her head. She always seemed like a sweet girl on the show, and this book solidified that for me. Based on the book, I think Chloe's parents have done a really good job in raising her. She is definitely a good role model for other kids.

Four out of five stars is what I gave Girl on Pointe by Chloe Lukasiak. It's a perfect book for fans of the reality show Dance Moms. I definitely recommend it for kids, tweens, and teens.

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