Thursday, July 30, 2009

Throwback Thrusday-The Kayla Chronicles

Thanks to Tashi for the Throwback Thursday idea! Throwback Thursday is when you review a book you read a while ago. I'll usually review books that were published before 2007.

The Kayla Chronicles by Sherri Winston

Rating: 4/5

I.Q. "A woman must look inside to find herself. When she spends too much time outside, hanging onto the words of others, she does not become authentic, she becomes deluded." Kayla

Kayla Dean, junior feminist and future journalist, is about the break the story of a lifetime. She is auditioning for the Lady Lions dance team to prove they discriminate against the not-so-well endowed. But when she makes the team, her best friend and fellow feminist, Rosalie, is not happy.Now a Lady Lion, Kayla is transformed from bushy-haired fashion victim to glammed-up dance diva. But does looking good and having fun mean turning her back on the cause? Can you be a strong woman and still wear really cute shoes? Soon Kayla is forced to challenge her views, coming to terms with who she is and what girl power really means.

I loved this book! I learned lots of new quotes from strong women because Kayla and Rosalie email and speak quotes to one another, back and forth (which I imagine would be a little strange to hear). I especially loved all the Kayla-isms, words that Kayla made up. My favorite was stankalicious!

Stankalicious- 1) Derived from stank, slang for stinker. the art of being stanky; 2)One who behaves in a manner so overboard, so bigger-than-life outrageous, so self-deluded, that it would only be considered stankalicious.

The whole story was hilarious. Kayla is really funny in her own way, but she put herself into some of the most awkward but funny situations. There were times in the book where I just smacked my head and groaned in frustration "How could you say THAT?" This is one of those books where you may not want to read in a place where you need to be quiet, because there are plenty of laugh out loud moments!

This book was also really sweet. Kayla lived with her ultra-feminist grandmother JoJo for most of the years of Kayla's life while Kayla's mom, dad and sister traveled throughout Africa (it's never really explained in the book why). When JoJo dies, Kayla's parents come home and Kayla begins living with them again in America. Kayla has to learn to adjust to her (basically new) family. She's not used to having a man around at all , especially not a former Marine like her father. Also, her sister and mother are not the strong feminists that JoJo was. There are some really touching moments and you feel bad for the mother, because while she's trying to reconnect with Kayla, Kayla's trying to push her away.

Rosalie is perfectly annoying, Sherri Winston did an excellent job in writing her character. I really didn't like her, but she had some redeeming qualities. Roger Lee Brown. Just read the book to find out why I feel so bad for the poor kid. I really liked almost the whole Lady Lions squad. One of my favorite scenes involves some Lady Lions and a band major sub. One of the funniest scenes and it's described so well, so vividly. Another great scene is when Rosalie starts to quote Nikki Giovanni's "Ego Trippin" to the Lady Lions and they shut her up really quick, by quoting it right back!

This is one of the funniest, most real books ever. These characters are real (although sometimes I wonder if a person can really be as awkward as Kayla), they are easily people I could see attending my school. My sister who is in junior high read this book really fast, and laughed through the whole thing so I would recommend this book to 6th graders and up. I'm not sure if a guy would like this book as much as a girl, but I'm certainly not going to advise against them reading it.

Check out Susan from Black-Eyed Susan's review here for a slightly different perspective


  1. Okay, this is the beauty of different perspectives. If I used a rating system, I'd give this 3/5. Should I post mine so we can discuss where we differ and why? Agreement is cool, but it's more fun discussing why we see things differently.

  2. This was a great review! Very thorough.

  3. Okay, I posted mine at Black-Eyed Susans. I agree, I did love Kayla's creative vocabulary. She is hilarious.

    I believe it's implied that Kayla lived with JoJo initially because they were a young couple traveling and thought it would be better for Kayla to be in a stable place. The plan was likely not to have a second child so soon but when they did, like most couples, you don't send the second baby home. This seemed the likely scenario. Growing up in a generation and family where there is common practice, my mind also filled in they opted to leave Kayla with JoJo because that bond was formed and solid. Sometimes plucking a child from what she's always known isn't good for the child. Reunion for the sake saying you are a family isn't necessarily best.

  4. yeah Susan I wouldn't mind discussing our different ratings. I'll link to your review also.
    Glad you liked it Tashi :)

  5. Hey Miss' Tude. Thanks for putting in your two cents for my contest. I'm actually looking for beta readers to read Book One. Check out my blog for details and feel free to pass on the message.

  6. This sounds like a great book. I just read Susan's review. Her criticism of the book makes me even more interested! I don't think there are enough YA books that deal with feminism.

  7. I really enjoyed this book. I loved Kayla.

  8. Stankalicious? I am laughing. This does sound like a good read!


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