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Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung

25695574Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung
Published 6th Sept 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Goodreads

Summary: Gilmore Girls meets Fresh Off the Boat in this witty novel about navigating life in private school while remaining true to yourself.

Lucy is a bit of a pushover, but she’s ambitious and smart, and she has just received the opportunity of a lifetime: a scholarship to a prestigious school, and a ticket out of her broken-down suburb. Though she’s worried she will stick out like badly cut bangs among the razor-straight students, she is soon welcomed into the Cabinet, the supremely popular trio who wield influence over classmates and teachers alike.

Linh is blunt, strong-willed, and fearless—everything Lucy once loved about herself. She is also Lucy’s last solid link to her life before private school, but she is growing tired of being eclipsed by the glamour of the Cabinet.

As Lucy floats further away from the world she once knew, her connection to Linh—and to her old life—threatens to snap. Sharp and honest, Alice Pung’s novel examines what it means to grow into the person you want to be without leaving yourself behind.

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Lucy and Linh is a fantastic addition to the prep school arc. When I first read this book, the first thing I thought about was Gossip Girl. Think of it as a more deep and intellectual version of Gossip Girl. I really enjoyed the character growth in this one.

Lucy and Linh is written in the form of letters, from Lucy to Linh. Linh is a bit of a mysterious character. Although Lucy writes countless letters to her, she never responds and occasionally shows up to fight against injustice against Lucy. Lucy is a wonderful character. She is an Asian, living in a poorer part of Australia, and against her better judgement, decides to take up the test for a chance to win a scholarship to Laurinda.

Laurinda is an all girls school led by three girls collectively known as the Cabinet. These girls are intelligent, beautiful, well liked (sort of) yet there’s something so cunning and horrible about all of them that people seemingly allow them to get them away with it.

Lucy and Linh is incredibly character-based. The story progresses on a day to day basis, but what keeps It interesting is how Lucy handles her day and navigates her new life in Laurinda. She recognises her weakness, her strengths, the bad in people, but also the good. What I love about this book is that there is absolutely zero love interest in this book. Just pure character development and girls, learning about themselves. I love it!

This book is so easy to fly through and so engaging and entertaining that you wouldn’t want to put it down. Definitely a heartwarming and beautiful ending, a total must have for your shelves.

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Mini Reviews / Dork Diaries #2 – #4

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Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl (Dork Diaries #2) / Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star (Dork Diaries #3) / Skating Sensation (Dork Diaries #4) by Rachel Renee Russell

Following my initial review of Dork Diaries, I just couldn’t help myself. My sister started reading book #2 and wouldn’t shut up about it that I continued reading and… I couldn’t stop. I read it one after another and only came to a stop because I couldn’t find book #5 at the library.

THE SERIES GETS BETTER.

If you recall, I wasn’t too crazy about the language used in this book. I don’t agree with the use of the word ‘retard’ and I didn’t like the way she treated her family. I had my fair share of concerns about this book but I’m happy to report that the series does indeed get better.

Nikki does a fair bit of growing up. She gains perspective about her parents and in particular, her father. Nikki becomes grateful towards her father for scoring her a scholarship at the school, despite her initial hatred for him because he is a pest exterminator. Sure she’s still embarrassed about the giant cockroach above his van and the fact that she needs to ride in it occasionally, but she’s not such a brat about it anymore. As far as I can remember, the language has improved a little bit, though I’m still not too crazy about it. Perhaps its written as such to make it believable that a teenager is writing this diary instead of a grown woman, but still.

My favourite so far is book 3 and 4, but I’m leaning more towards 4 because I feel that that’s where Nikki grows up the most. She becomes kind and compassionate towards other people and feels apologetic for her behaviour towards her family and other people in her life.

Is this series worth reading? Yes, yes, absolutely yes. Suitable for children aged 6 and above — but be aware: parental guidance and discussions may be required. As always, proceed with caution and do what you feel is best for your children and students.

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