Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Scones and Sensibility

Seek tirelessly and you shall not find a contemporary heroine of middle-grade literature as refined and romantic as Miss Polly Madassa. Still swooning over the romantic conclusions of Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables, twelve-year-old Polly decides her purpose in life: helping along lonely hearts in search of love. Polly's only task this summer is to make deliveries for her parents' bakery, leaving ample time for this young cupid to find hearts to mend--beginning with the kite-store owner, Mr. Nightquist, who will pair perfectly with Miss Wiskerton (the unfairly labeled town curmudgeon). Polly's best friend Fran Fisk is in desperate need of a mother ever since hers ran off with a man she met on the Internet; Polly must find a match for Mr. Fisk. And while she's at it, it wouldn't hurt to find Clementine, Polly's teenaged sister, a beau worthy of her (so she can shed that brute, Clint). Polly's plans are in full swing, so she definitely cannot be bothered by the advances of classmate Brad Barker. But maybe Polly should have turned her attention to Miss Austen's Emma next, because she quickly learns the pitfalls of playing matchmaker. How will Polly patch up her own relationships, while ensuring that destined love can take its course?
from borders.com

Beth says 3.5 Stars...

This book was really cute. In fact, it went overboard on the cuteness factor. That was the main issue I had with the book. It became so cloyingly sweet that I didn't know what to do. Everything was saturated in pure sugar, and not in a good way. Overall, though, it wasn't bad. Eland is highly talented, as shown by the creation of Polly's highly stylized voice. The plot wasn't the most original concept, but it was less predictable, particularly the ending, than I thought it would be. I guess another major problem I had was the message that everyone needs to be coupled up. This really hits a nerve, because *gets on soapbox* I see it permeating YA and now MG books, and it distresses me. We need to be telling our young girls that they can be complete just by themselves. There's no need for a 12 year-old to be rushing into having a boyfriend. There is no need for anyone to have to define themselves and their value by whether or not they're in a romantic relationship. It concerns me that the next generation will think that this is completely normal. *steps off soapbox*

Polly was likeable enough, but every once in a while I had the strongest urge to strangle her. Speaking like a Victorian lady was cute at first, but then got really irritating. It felt completely contrived, although the phrases were lovely. I think that honestly it's just me, but I really don't enjoy that sort of thing. The supporting case was good, nothing great, but not bad either.

Overall, the book wasn't bad. It just ended not really being to my taste as far as tone, but that's my issue. I think that there's some promising writing talent in Eland, and I look forward to seeing what else she can do. This could be fun for middle school girls looking for something, light fluffy, and overflowing with cuteness.
Book from Publisher


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