Paisley Hanover Acts Out by Cameron Tuttle
Summary (from goodreads): Always one of the popular kids, sophomore Paisley Hanover gets a rude awakening when she’s booted out of yearbook and into the badlands of drama class. Out of her element but only momentarily out of ideas, Paisley takes action—and an unexpected liking to her drama buddies. The result? An undercover crusade that could bring down the popularity pecking order, and Paisley along with it. This is the story of how Paisley Hanover gets wise, gets bold, and gets into a hilarious mess of trouble.
Review: I definitely should have read this one sooner. Why on earth did I put reading this off? It was so good! I've had it for months and I totally put off reading and reviewing it (sorry Book Divas!) and now I don't know why! I just really really hopethere'll be more! Hold on while I go scope out the website
. YAY there's another one!! I need that book sooner rather than later. Okay, I'm focusing. Even though the website is super cute.
Characters: Cameron Tuttle has a definite talent for making super realistic characters, and Paisley is awesome. When the book starts out she's a little shallow, a little too concerned with popularity and all that stuff, but she grows into a really interesting, super cool person. She sort of reminds me a little bit of an American Georgia Nicholson. (That, and, according to the notes in my review notebook, Yan.) I started out the book not always liking her, but by the middle of the book, I woohoo'd out loud when she ran for class president. (And I'm glad I was alone in the house for that.) One thing I thought was cool was that Paisley has a problem with typos and at one point spells sidebar "sidebra", so throughout the book are little notes, called sidebras, on the sides of the pages. Totally charmed me, as I love sidebars but usually they're just in brackets (see above for examples) so that was rather unique.
As for the other characters, they were great, too. I am absolutely in love with one of the guys she likes, Clint, not so much with the other, Eric. Eric's nice and everything, I just like Clint better because he's a total bad boy. He has a tattoo, a motorcycle, and he reads
... but I digress.
Plot: A clerical error causes Paisley to have to compete with another girl for the last spot in Yearbook and spastic jazz hands later, she has to do Drama instead. A good part of the plot is Paisley's self-growth, but it does have some good twists and turns to keep you on edge, and a good dose of romance. (And yes, I said spastic jazz hands. Which becomes infamous. I give you this quote for proof:
The Hornettes were doing spastic jazz hands as the kicked around in a circle and crumpled into a bud of butts. Everybody cheered.
I wanted to feel pissed, but I was kind of amazed. My weirdest, most embarrassing moment of high school life had been incorporated into Pleasant Hill High pop culture. I didn't know what to think of that.
PG-13 stuff: A little bit of underage drinking, but Paisley doesn't do any herself (which is another thing that I like about this, because I hate that in books, it's one of my pet peeves) and it was done honestly and realistically. A couple of mild curses, but I'm like the only person on earth who would call them curses and I don't swear.
Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: This isn't really a bit deal, and a lot of books do this, but there were a couple of times when they'd show her texts and it'd throw me off. Maybe this is just me (probably is at this point), but I don't have a cell phone and the abbreviations boggle my mind for a couple of seconds before I get them. Otherwise nothing stands out.
Paisley's Not Book: The book (my copy, at least, but I'd hope it'd be all of them) comes in this really cute slipcover that velcros shut and has a companion book called Paisley's Not Book (she crossed the E out) and is her notebook, which is mentioned often throughout the book. Libraries might take it out, though, so if you buy books, I'd consider buying this one just for that. It has Paisley's drawings, notes, doodles, notes from the other people in her life, each in their own handwriting, and totally charmed me, sort of reminding me of Jim Benton's Dear Dumb Diary books, only for an older audience. I love notebooks for one. (I had a dream about them last night. Yep, I had a dream about notebooks. Why I'll never know.) For another, it was just plain funny. Likeshigoogley ! She came up with that word out of no where, and I propose that we make it the new... um, how about awesome? That work for all you? Shigoogley!
Cover comments: I don't like it that much. I think half the reason I put off reading it was because the cover makes it look too fluffy. (Bad Laina!) But the back illustrations are really cute.
Conclusion: I made about a million notes while I was reading this, which I only do with books I love or hate and I definitely didn't hate this one. I can't recommend you read this enough and I can't wait to get my hands on the second one! Four out of five.Reviewed for Book Divas and my blog here.