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Jasmine and Maddie by Christine Pakkala
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Jasmine and Maddie

by Christine Pakkala

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Showing 3 of 3
Release Date: April 1, 2014
ARC received from Boyds Mill Press at ALA Midwinter
Visit my book reviews at http://clockwork-serenity.tumblr.com/tagged/book-review

Jasmine just moved to town and lives in a trailer park, which she finds super embarrassing. Maddie lives in a large house with a big family where she is not as perfect as her older sister who sets the ideal example in her home. When Jasmine starts the eighth grade at their small Connecticut school all the popular girls just flock to Jasmine. Maddie however, has one good friend who is usually too busy to hang out with her, which makes Maddie jealous of how easily Jasmine has blended into their school. Jasmine is sympathetic of Maddie’s awkwardness, but not sympathetic enough to not steal from her because she is more affluent than Jasmine. Jasmine liked to think of it as Robin Hood stealing from the rich, and all she wants to do is help her mom pay the bills.

This is a story about friendship and coming of age trials told in alternating perspectives between Jasmine and Maddie. This is a very realistic portrayal of the middle school ups and downs girls have and how everyone feels awkward about something, be it where they live, how they live, how they dress, who likes or doesn’t like whom, etc. Just because Maddie lives in a big house and her family has a decent amount of money, doesn’t mean she is automatically happy. Jasmine is going through some sad times after the loss of her father and we see the state of her family grieving and the problems of other families in her trailer park.

The two girl’s stories are united by poetry assignments in their English class. We get to read the poems they are studying and the poems they are writing and see some true emotional outpouring. The book climaxes with a Poetry Café at the end of the book where all their grieving and frustration can be read aloud. This is a quick, light read for middle-readers that young adults will also enjoy because of the timelessness of feeling so emotionally raw. A highly recommended realistic fiction read. ( )
  clockwork_serenity | Jan 23, 2016 |
Release Date: April 1, 2014
ARC received from Boyds Mill Press at ALA Midwinter
Visit my book reviews at http://clockwork-serenity.tumblr.com/tagged/book-review

Jasmine just moved to town and lives in a trailer park, which she finds super embarrassing. Maddie lives in a large house with a big family where she is not as perfect as her older sister who sets the ideal example in her home. When Jasmine starts the eighth grade at their small Connecticut school all the popular girls just flock to Jasmine. Maddie however, has one good friend who is usually too busy to hang out with her, which makes Maddie jealous of how easily Jasmine has blended into their school. Jasmine is sympathetic of Maddie’s awkwardness, but not sympathetic enough to not steal from her because she is more affluent than Jasmine. Jasmine liked to think of it as Robin Hood stealing from the rich, and all she wants to do is help her mom pay the bills.

This is a story about friendship and coming of age trials told in alternating perspectives between Jasmine and Maddie. This is a very realistic portrayal of the middle school ups and downs girls have and how everyone feels awkward about something, be it where they live, how they live, how they dress, who likes or doesn’t like whom, etc. Just because Maddie lives in a big house and her family has a decent amount of money, doesn’t mean she is automatically happy. Jasmine is going through some sad times after the loss of her father and we see the state of her family grieving and the problems of other families in her trailer park.

The two girl’s stories are united by poetry assignments in their English class. We get to read the poems they are studying and the poems they are writing and see some true emotional outpouring. The book climaxes with a Poetry Café at the end of the book where all their grieving and frustration can be read aloud. This is a quick, light read for middle-readers that young adults will also enjoy because of the timelessness of feeling so emotionally raw. A highly recommended realistic fiction read. ( )
  clockwork_serenity | Jan 23, 2016 |
Jasmine and Maddie by Christine Pakkala is a realistic portrayal of teenage girls in middle school.

Jasmine's father passed away and she and her mother move to a new town and live in a trailer park. Jasmine is an angry little girl who is also gorgeous. Of course, everyone wants to be her friend because she's pretty. In reality, she's an inconsistent friend and character. The story switches between Jasmine and Maddie. When Jasmine tells her story, you see her point of view and even start to feel sorry for her. Then, she'll do something mean that cannot be explained through her sad experiences. She has a lot of bitterness to get rid of before she can learn to be a friend. By the end of the novel, there's an indication that she's headed in the right direction.

Maddie lives in her own world and doesn't realize what goes on around her. She's oblivious to clothes and other symbols of being "in." She's really good at poetry and English class, but she totally does not understand math. She struggles with being a middle child and being responsible. Her older sister appears to be perfect and her younger twin brothers are just cute while her dad is funny and her mom is a workaholic and doesn't come across as very loving. Maddie just wants to stay friends with Kate, but Kate made the soccer team and hangs out with them. Kate is still her friend; this schism is used to show how friendships can evolve when different interests crop up between friends. Maddie wants to be friends with Jasmine because Maddie is a little desperate for friends and feels that she never measures up.

Maddie's character is fairly consistent, but Jasmine's character is a bit all over the place. I guess that's realistic for a middle school girl, but her shift to become Maddie's friend is sudden and has no natural evolution. If you like poetry--writing or reading it--you'll like this novel. The English teacher assigns them poetry; throughout the novel, there is analysis of poetry and original poetry by the characters that reveal their true feelings. There's a lot of potential to this book, but it doesn't live up to what it could be. it does, however, have a good message for middle school girls about forgiveness and friendship. ( )
  acargile | Apr 20, 2014 |
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Two eighth-grade girls--Jasmine, who lives in a trailer park, and Maddie, who seemingly has the perfect rich family--hope to find a friend within their polar opposite, but when Jasmine steals Maddie's heirloom ring, their friendship may hang in the balance.… (more)

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