Sarah's Stars

Edeet Ravel. The Thrilling Life of Pauline de Lammermoor
Raincoast $11.95 ISBN 978-1-55192-988-0  224 pg.
Reviewed by Emma, Age 15

I could tell you more about my t-shirts and World War Three, but Iím going to make myself stop, because Zane says, digressions are fine, but keep them short. Digress means: stray, go adrift, fly off at a tangent and alter ones course. Ms. Nipuitz used to complain about that. She always wrote on my essays: Stay on topic, Pauline. She is such a boring person...

Pauline Carelli-Bloom is writing a novel. Itís summer, and sheís feeling particularly creative and brilliant (sheís just placed first in the school-wide short story contest). Along for the ride is Zane Burbank III, author of You Too Can Write a Great Novel. Zane says: Write about what you know best. Whether itís her father painting shoes, her mother singing opera, or friendly Yoshi belting ĎI Did It My Wayí in the middle of the street/night, thereís always something unusual going on in Paulineís life, which means thereís always something to write about.

Edeet Ravel is a Canadian author who has received many awards for her work, which includes A Wall of Light and Ten Thousand Lovers. She lives in Guelph with her daughter, where she is also a peace activist and former teacher. The next book in her Pauline, btw series, The Mysterious Adventures of Pauline Bovary, is on the way.

The Thrilling Life of Pauline de Lammermoor is a lighthearted, witty, whimsical novel, good for guzzling on the front lawn or back porch when itís too hot to be inside. The start is a little bit weak, and some parts of the book are kind of hard to buy, but keep reading, itís worth it. Pauline is an amusing, genuine heroine, winning in her utter naivety. Ravelís style is meandering, laid-back, and often cunningly ironic, with plenty of bits and bobs to make you smile.

The one thing about this novel that I didnít really like is the lack of originality in its genre. Itís as if the author read another book of this style, thought I want to do that, and wrote her own version of Itís-summer-Iím-a-quirky-teenage-girl-This-book-doesnít-really-have-a-plot-but-youíll-love-it-anyway story weíve all read before.

Overall, an good choice for preteens and escapists alike, and I recommend it to girls between the ages of 10 and 16, or even open-minded guys. As said before, I think Pauline is probably best read in large chunks, or even all in one sitting. A sweet, sincere, and thoroughly four-star summer read. Pauline pairs well with sunshine, soft grass, and purple toenails.


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