Thursday, June 26, 2008

Peeled by Joan Bauer

Hildy Biddle dreams of being a journalist. A reporter for her high school newspaper, The Core, she’s just waiting for a chance to prove herself. Not content to just cover school issues, Hildy’s drawn to the town’s big story— the haunted old Ludlow house. On the surface, Banesville, USA, seems like such a happy place, but lately, eerie happenings and ghostly sightings are making Hildy take a deeper look. And she suspects the editor of The Bee, the town newspaper, is more interested in selling papers than he is in reporting the facts to a frightened public.

Hildy’s efforts to find out who is really haunting Banesville isn’t making her popular, and she starts wondering if she’s cut out to be a journalist, after all. But she refuses to give up, because, hopefully, the truth will set a few ghosts free.

Grade: B+

(Thank you to JL for this book! I loved it!)

Memorable Quotes/Lines:
You shouldn't quote an ARC, but I will either way. *ahem*

"Courage isn't all it's cracked up to be. I thought it came with some big rush of confidence and adrenaline.

Instead, I just kept moving forward, wondering.

What am I doing?

Is it the right thing?"

(Pages 194-195.)


As of finishing Peeled, I have to say, without a doubt, it’s getting some big smiles la Steph. It appealed to me tremendously to begin with, because of the journalism element and the fact it’s set in the country. No need to say more—I love tranquil stories and nothing like a little country haze to get effect.

Onward. I’m going to try this new thing where I’ll say the bad things before the positive, so I can end this review on a good note. (After all, I’d hate to go the other way and have a bittersweet ending; this is supposed to be a positive review.)

The character development was a little off. I’m not one to get all judgmental about showing and telling and all those perceived be-all-and-end-all writing rules1 but I do think Joan Bauer could’ve expanded some scenes in order to achieve a cast filled with defined, distinct voices. (This is especially true with Zack—I’d love to know some more about him.) Consequently, because of the shift between drawing on some traits instead of letting the characters grow into them, their interaction also suffered.

That said, I really loved Hildy. She was strong and knew the true feeling that often accompanies bravery is uncertainty, not confidence. She was interesting by her own virtue and her own conviction, because of what was inside of her. It was refreshing to see a character who didn’t curse, who didn’t drink, who didn’t smoke or snort up crap. A character who, when presented with a social problem that threatened her entire town, did not turn unto herself and cause internal damage but rather fought for the values and life she was given.

Which brings me to the plot. Could this be any more pertinent to us teens? I would love to see some more thoughtful and thought-provoking stories such as this one. I won’t give away any of the setup—the book description says enough. All I’m saying is: If you’re looking for something that touches on politics and social dilemmas, this book = perfect for you.


Amee said...

Great review! I've actually been trying to do the whole negative first thing because it's so hard to turn it back around at the end to leave it on a positive note. You did it well. :D

Tasha said...

I really enjoyed this book. I have heard that it is not one of the author's better books, but I was thinking if this was bad I can't imagine what her good books are! Can't wait to read more.

Steph said...

Ames -- it IS quite hard. When I read reviews that go:

This book is good paragraph.

Here's what's wrong paragraph.

Overall, quite a fun read! paragraph.

...I always think, Well well, this person makes no sense. So the book is good, then you go and bash it in, then you say it's a fun read. Makes no sense. Which is why I'm trying this new thing :D Thanks! :D

Tasha -- I've heard the same! I'm gonna order Hope Was Here and Rules of the Road next time I buy books. They both sounds great, and given I enjoyed THIS, I can't wait to try the rest!!


Lenore Appelhans said...

The journalism element appeals to me too, and I hope I can pick this one up soon!

Liviania said...

I love Joan Bauer. I adore picking up her books.

Anonymous said...


chalm skin said...

LOL yah poop XD

Anonymous said...

do u know any death lines from peeled?

Anonymous said...

i had 2 read this book for school. i thought it was good..... an thats something to say cause i dont like reading.

Anonymous said...

great job !!! i loved her book peeled and hope was here
ur a great author keep writingg :)
love ur fan , diana bieber :) (not rlly related 2 him )

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Hey! For some reason, this embedded comment form makes most people click twice before the comment is processed and published. It's not you - it's just that it's a new Blogger feature with kinks and all that. (But I adore it and don't wanna get rid of it!) I removed Captcha to make the process easier. You don't have to rewrite the comments twice; just click on SUBMIT twice and it should work. If not, email me. Thanks! -Steph