Sarah's Stars

Sherri Winston. The Kayla Chronicles
Little, Brown $21.50  ISBN 978-0-316-11430-1  188 pg.
Reviewed by Ceilidh, Age 15

Teeth flashed. Cameras flashed. Frogs croaked and I realized:

They made a beautiful family together. The three of them, cocoa brown skin, wide, expressive eyes, huge smiles.

Together, they were the perfect family picture.

Without me.

And no one even realized that I wasn’t in the picture.

I should’ve raised all kinds of commotion. I should have made them include me.

I should have…

But I didn’t. 

Fourteen year-old Kayla the feminist lives a life almost completely controlled by others. Her and her best friend believe that women have rights, and there is nothing wrong with that, but Rosalie always seems to take that one step too far. The two friends decide that they will prove to everyone that they are right in their thinking that the Lady Lions dance group always turns small-chested girls down. But when Kayla actually makes the team, Rosalie seems to be determined to do anything just to sabotage her. Kayla, for the first time in her life is doing something that makes her happy, and she does not even begin to understand why Rosalie would not want this. She also discovers that while she thinks women can have rights, she can dress prettily too. This attracts the gaze of a boy named Roger Lee Brown, her crush, coincidentally. Her parents are happy, her sister is happy, even Demolition Diva otherwise known as her grandmother, is happy for her.

I enjoyed the dancing aspect of this book very much, because I am an aspiring dancer, and to show that anyone can dance, even a small-chested girl really made me happy. This is not a typical book that I would read, but I would definitely read it again. The awkward positions that the author writes about, through the eyes of Kayla, are just as a normal teenage girl would experience. She experiences her first kiss, her first big fight with a best friend. This book really identifies with the problems that a typical teenaged female has. I did find it hard to identify with at times because she seems younger at times than she is, but most of the time I had no problem with the language or anything. I enjoyed the words that she makes up throughout the book, I also liked the quotes at the beginning of each chapter; they each related to some part of the chapter. “How much one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.” –Coco Chanel, was definitely one that I had to read twice, but I thought it suited Kayla completely.

I give this book four crunktacular stars out of five, and recommend it for ages 13 and up. I believe that girls would get a good laugh out of this book and learn a few things on the way.


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