With six teenage girls living under one roof, things are bound to get interesting. Mix six teenaged girls and one ’60s fashion icon (retired, of course) in an old Victorian-era boarding home. Add guys and dating, a little high-school angst, and throw in a Kate Spade bag or two ... and you’ve got The Carter House Girls, Melody Carlson’s new chick lit series for young adults! The Carter House experiences a shake-up as one of its own returns home after an unnerving disappearing act. Then, friction grows as a school Homecoming Queen race heats up, turning friends and housemates against one another. DJ, Eliza, Taylor, Kriti, Rhiannon, and Casey show they have plenty of lessons to learn as the votes roll in. Some grow smarter and closer to God, while others seem to make the same mistakes over again. Despite all their differences and disagreements, the Carter House girls continue to grow together, forging a bond that strengthens through hardship. Hearts CAN change and friendship paves the way for at least one girl to move closer to God.
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Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. Before publishing, Melody traveled around the world, volunteered in teen ministry, taught preschool, raised two sons, and worked briefly in interior design and later in international adoption. "I think real-life experiences inspire the best fiction," she says. Her wide variety of books seems to prove this theory.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7 Up—DJ Lane lives with five other girls in a boardinghouse owned by her grandmother, a retired fashion model. As the novel opens, she discovers that her runaway roommate, Taylor, has returned. Taylor quickly resolves her differences with the other Carter House residents and in the process snags a coveted role in the school musical. Just as DJ thinks life in Crescent Cove might settle down, she is injured while saving a child from an oncoming car. Although she has become a local heroine, she struggles with the emotional and physical impact of the accident, feeling alone and insecure as her friends carry on with their lives at school. While DJ recuperates, Taylor and Eliza compete against each other in the homecoming queen contest, DJ's boyfriend reconnects with an old flame, and her volleyball teammates continue the season without her. Although each character represents a type, they are not one-dimensional. As the plot rambles along, jumping from one situation to the next, the author reveals different layers of her characters' personalities and, in the end, provides the satisfying twist of an unexpected result in the homecoming queen election. Reminiscent of Francine Pascal's "Sweet Valley High" books (Random), but with strong Christian overtones, this novel touches on a variety of issues, including prescription drug abuse, that will resonate with teens.—Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA
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