Jennifer's Reviews > Close to Famous

Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
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's review
Nov 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ya, young-girls
Read in November, 2011

Close to Famous might not be the most complex or original book in the world, and optimistic life cliches are sprinkled throughout and frosted thick on top like the main character's cupcake decorations; however, it still alludes to serious and tough issues such as domestic violence and the economic struggles of both individuals and a small rural town, while also showing that we must overcome personal obstacles, do the best we can with what we have, and, most importantly, not be afraid to dream big. The characters are not necessarily thoroughly developed, yet Bauer gives the reader enough quirkiness and detail about each one of them that they come alive, perhaps because it's enough to remind you of people whom you know so that they're not only fully fleshed out characters in your own mind, but also characters that you care about. Some people might criticize the novel for being overly simplistic, optimistic or "cheesy" but things end up working in the novel the way that I wished that they would in the real world, and it seems like the way that things would turn out if good people bravely made the decisions they know they should. Perhaps, as in the novel, we all just need magic cupcakes to make us see the world as it would be after we clean up the mess rather than focusing on the the mess we're cleaning.

In brief, Close to Famous made me smile, and I think that it will make many others who read it smile as well.

P.S. This book might also be nice for children who have or have had difficulties reading since the main character struggles with learning to read, even as a 12-year-old (and her reading troubles aren't neatly categorized as dyslexia).
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message 1: by Allie (new)

Allie Sounds really sweet! I haven't read this new one yet, but in my early teens, I loved Rules of the Road and Hope Was Here.

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