Sunday, January 3, 2010

That's What's Up!

That's What's Up by Paula Chase

Rating: 3/5

IQ "She and Todd's friendship was two parts silly-Lizzie never laughed so much in her life like she did when she was around him-and one part genuine affection. They shared the kind of fragile ease you feel around a person you know well, but are learning to see in a new light." Lizzie pg. 8

*Contains spoilers unless you've read the first two books in the series. If you have, continue reading, (there are no spoilers about what occurs during the 3rd book). If not, stop here (unless you don't mind spoilers). You can read my reviews of the 1st book, So Not the Drama here and the 2nd book, Don't Get it Twisted here(you can get two extra entries in my giveaway, if you comment on this review)

That's What's Up
occurs over Spring Break when everyone is going to the O.C. for extreme Nationals in cheerleading to watch the Del Rio Bay's cheerleading varsity compete. Mina is one of the few freshman on the team, and her making it, finally propels her to popularity and she becomes an Upper who gets to sit in the Cafe. Mina's hoping to spend some alone time with Brian and of course, she wants to win Nationals and bask in her new found popularity. Also, Jessica has called a truce, except Jessica's got tricks up her sleeve. Lizzie and Jacinta aren't allowed to go to the O.C. so they make a plan to sneak out (they tell their parents they're spending the weekend at Jacinta's aunt's house but she's out of town) and Kelly agrees to go with them. They meet the boys down there (Todd, Brian and JZ, who all have permission to be in O.C).

This is probably my least favorite book in the series so far. It's not bad, it just didn't appeal to me as much as the first two. My problem with it was that I felt the main characters made silly decisions and they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble and heartache if they had just thought everything through. But, that's what makes these books so realistic, the kids make mistakes and sometimes they get caught, sometimes they don't, much like in real life.

Lizzie is really growing as a character. For the first time, she's attracted to a guy and she really, really likes Todd and he likes her too. Personally, I'm not sure how everyone puts up with Lizzie because her goodness drives me crazy (that sounds awful but it's true) but she's very sweet and her relationship with Todd is so cute and funny. Todd is really a funny guy and helps draw Lizzie out of her shell and helps her lighten up. She admits to herself that the main reason she's sneaking down to O.C. is to spend more time with Todd. It's nice watching her develop and loosen up. Jacinta is the one character who isn't developing, she's stuck in a rut almost. She broke things off with Raheem but then they get back together (Hate That I Love You, anyone?) or at least they keep hooking up, even after Raheem does something that should be a total deal breaker. She's frustrating, but her relationship with Raheem is really realistic because we've all been attracted to someone we shouldn't be, even if they are bad for us. Mina is a refreshing character, I was relived to see that she doesn't let the popularity go to her head and stays down-to-earth and now that she's popular, she's done obsessing which is a relief. But she was foolish to trust Jessica and for not being open with other people.
The other characters are becoming more developed as well and Mina's group of friends is growing and their playful banter is quite entertaining. I want the Del Rio Bay Clique as my friends :)

The writing is still an authentic, teenage voice and fast paced. These books will never get tedious or confusing, they're very straight forward an excellent portrayal of suburban high schools. The clique are still freshman, but they are already starting to mature and I'm eager to read their next adventures, especially because the book ended on a bit of a suspenseful note. High School and up.