Sunday, May 9, 2010

Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski

Title: Gimme a Call
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Realistic fiction with slight fantasy twist
Target Audience: Females ages 11+
Number of pages: Hardcover version - 320 pages

After wasting four years of high school slacking off with her boyfriend, Devi Banks wishes for a second chance. She never took academics seriously, let old friendships drift away, and didn’t get involved with any of the school’s extracurriculars. Her boyfriend, Bryan, dumped her before college, so now Devi has nothing meaningful left, except a life at Stulen State College, a.k.a. “Stupid State”. Devi desperately wishes to redo the past four years. Her wish is miraculously granted when she accidentally drops her cell phone in the fountain, and now, the only number it can call is her own, three and a half years ago on the first day of freshman year.

Once she gets over her initial incredulity and convinces her younger self what’s happening, Devi realizes that she can use this situation to her advantage – the chance of redoing her life that she’s been dreaming for is literally sitting in her hands. She now has the ability to tell the younger Devi what to do – after all, what better advisor is there than your future self?

I won an ARC copy of Gimme a Call from a Random Buzzer’s giveaway and was anticipating its arrival. Sarah Mlynowski’s Magic in Manhattan series was superb, so this book was bound to be good! The sypnosis looked quite original, and when it came, I immediately buried my nose between the pages. This fun novel has a great barrel-ahead momentum, which is refreshing, and like most Sarah Mlynoski books, I finished it in one sitting. It was funny, crazy, sad, and downright entertaining – everything any chicklit novel should be. Yet even with the interesting premise, I felt that this novel had unfulfilled its potential and my expectations.

The author should have elaborated on some of the themes hidden beneath the cheery surface of this book. The more serious theme of making good decisions is partially smothered beneath the book’s fluff, and at the end, I wasn’t sure whether the older Devi learns her lesson properly. The two main characters, older Devi and younger Devi, seem like completely different people, even though they are technically the same. Younger Devi is likable, witty, and intelligent, and it seems as if she doesn’t need older Devi to help her. Older Devi has a personality that is selfish and boring, and she keeps bossing her younger self around. Throughout the novel, I found myself rooting for the younger Devi, which is quite strange, since older Devi is the same person.

If this novel was a drink, it would be sweet and refreshing lemonade, but a little too watery to make an impression on my taste buds. Any girl who is over the age of eleven will enjoy this quick read.
Cover: 3/5 - I like the minimalistic design and the girl on the phone, though if I saw this in the bookstore and the author wasn't Sarah Mlynowski, I would walk right past it without a second glance.

Rating: 3 hoots

Source: Random Buzzers Friday ARC Giveaway

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