Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm catching up!

I promised some catch-up reviews, so that's what you're all getting! Today is two more from the S.A.S.S. series, a group of books I'm enjoying very much.

Getting the Boot, by Peggy Guthart Strauss, was the second book I've read in the S.A.S.S. YA series. The first, Westminster Abby, was very enjoyable, as was this one. I really did think these books would be very "fluffy," but I've been pleasantly surprised thus far.

17 year old Kelly is super excited when she arrives in Rome for her summer abroad. Her excitement is quickly squelched when she gets put in a room with incredibly boring girls that just cramp her style. Kelly wants to shop, these girls want to study. Kelly wants to hang out (and make out) with her new boy, Joe, the girls just think he's bad news and shun Kelly even more because of him. When Kelly starts missing classes and curfew because of Joe, she starts to wonder if maybe the girls are right. Maybe Joe is bad news. And when Kelly is faced with the chance of being sent home, she needs to make a decision. Joe or Rome?

Though this book was more "romance based" than the first in the series, it was not overpowered with it and was still a good book. The plot in this book was something that many girls face while in high school and I feel the message given was a great one for teens.

The next book I read in the S.A.S.S. series was Spain or Shine, by Michelle Jellen. This was another enjoyable book, the most enjoyable for me so far, being that I've been to Spain. I went for 10 days my senior year in high school and it was a lot of fun to read about the main character going to all of the places I had the opportunity to see.

16 year old Elena often feels left out in her big family and believes that going to Spain will finally allow her to stand out for something. Longing to be a playwright, Elena works hard while in Spain, but still has time for fun with her new friend Jenna and her new love interest, Miguel. Though still feeling as if she is below her true ability, Elena attempts to shine at her love of writing.

With beautiful descriptions of the Spain seaside, Jellen writes an excellent coming-of-age story. Elena grows emotionally and learns how to strive for what she believes in and what she loves. This book seems the most mature of the series with more time spent on the emotions of the main character and less time on romance, though there is a little thrown in here and there. I would highly recommend these books to teens, as the positive message is strong.

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