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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Review: Ordinary Me

Ordinary Me
by June Sproat

While behind the wheel during driver's ed, high school sophomore Kate Sterns inadvertently foils an escaped convict's getaway. When her heroic actions land her face on the front page of the Wainscott Gazette, she thinks her life is over, and it is, at least her life as an ordinary anyway. Overnight she is plucked from the ordinaries and plopped into the "in crowd." At first Kate is in denial of her status change, but then she likes it, that is until she's labeled a snob, her locker gets trashed and one other minor thing-- she's being stalked.

In Ordinary Me, June Sproat introduces the incredibly likable and hard-to-ignore main character, Kate. Kate is a little ordinary, but she's frank, funny and a little quirky. And, she has an amazingly familiar voice, maybe even like your own. Sproat's use of the first person point of view, her character's self-doubt, tiny hopes, and (sometimes minor) disasters, all make her as familiar as a voice in your own head. Kate might be your best friend, you know her so well. It's very hard to describe how Sproat makes this work so personal, but she does. From the start, this element makes this work a page-turner.

Ordinary Me takes place in an ordinary-enough high school, with driving lessons, chemistry class, and the usual run-ins with the in-crowd. Kate's hopes, her attraction to the quite-nice really Steve, and her loyalty issues could happen to anybody. Figuring out the identity of the 'nasty one' that has it in for her keeps the plot moving right along. And everyday, little incidents are not just plausible but funny. More serious happenings have potential to impact on Kate's life, like drinking, and involvement with boys she doesn't know well.

Remember what its like to be a kid again, and read Ordinary Me. Or, if you happen to be a kid, find a kindred spirit here...4 books.

Reviewer Snapdragon