Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Talent by Zoey Dean

Summary
It’s all about talent in LA: who has it, who doesn’t, who wants it, and who can find it first!

When thirteen-year-old Mac Armstrong witnesses newcomer Emily Mungler’s stellar lying-to-gain-entry performance during a movie premiere party at the Roosevelt in Hollywood, it dawns on her that her own talent is to discover it in others! So Mac and her BFFs set out to prove it by turning fresh-from- Cedartown-Iowa Emily into a box office bombshell. They’ll make deals, throw parties, crush on boys, all on the way to discovering that no matter how famous or important you are, friendship always comes first. Well, almost always.

Grade: D //

ARC. (Thank you, JL!) In stores June 19th, 2008.



Review:
Why
is
this
book
set
in
the
middle
school
scene?

Seriously, that's what all of this book's problems boil down to. The characters are unbelievable for twelve-year-olds. You have to be kidding me that so many adults would take preteens as seriously as they're taken here. People don't even take ME this seriously and I'm considerably older and less spoiled than these girls.

Problematic points:

Mac (center of this book) somehow manages to fool a handful of adults while she's playing Emily Mungler's agent. A twelve-year-old playing another twelve-year-old's agent.

Coco and Ruby have an audition with a major record company because "some duo has got to become the year's hottest performers". What was the last twelve-year-old duo we've seen make it big? JoJo was thirteen when she took off a zillion years ago and Miley Cirus is everywhere nowadays, but those are the only two examples I can think of in the last five or six years. Most new artists are what, seventeen pushing eighteen?

Becks loses the boy she has her eye on to some nondescript chick with a big chest. Again, totally happened when I was in middle school, but really? I mean, is this really what you're trying to feed the readers?

I could go on, but it all goes back to what I said in the beginning: Why is this set in middle school? The plot would've worked, and worked rather well, with an older cast. I just don't understand why they went with middle school. If it'd been high school, I would've rated it a B. As it isn't, I'm going lower. I'll probably pick up the next book in the series for curiosity's sake, but again, I can't say this enough: Why middle school?!

23 comments:

ambeen said...

Yikes, that does sound like a little much for 12 year olds. It's hard to judge it from my perspective, though, because 12 year olds are so much different today than they even were when I was 12 back in 1998, lol. It's weird how much changes in just 10 years.

Khyrinthia said...

I hope those aren't the main characters on the cover, because they do not look 12. At all.

Book Chic said...

I just got two ARCs of this (and 5 chapter booklets of the next book in the series). It looked like a good book, but maybe not. I'm still gonna review it though cuz it does still sound interesting.

Also, you totally forgot about Aly and AJ. They're a duo, although I don't think they were 12 when they started but close to it.

Ambeen- Wait, you're 22 too? I had no idea! I am as well. :)

ambeen said...

Lol, well, I will be 22 in a couple months.

*Heather* said...

I agree with khyrinthia. The girls on the cover don't look 12. And that is a bit much for twelve year-olds.

You know, after ambeen and james talking about how old they are...I feel very very young...*sighs*

ambeen said...

Haha, Heather, it's better to feel young than old. I feel old compared to all the younger reviewers out there. I mean, in 8 years a lot of you will only be my age now and then I'll be...30. It's scary, lol.

alison ashlee said...

Eeek! I think our world is a whole lot different now from when I was a kid (how old does that make me sound now?). But, seriously, it just wasn't so ... commercialised, maybe? Not sure if that's the right word. I just feel that we weren't already like the GG series, but spin that round for twelve year olds. I think this series is just building on to what the perceived market is for today, which, I think is rather sad, but that, of course, would be personal opinion onlu. Ohh, how life has changed. It'll be interesting to see what twelve year olds are reading in the future, about twelve year olds. Maybe, it'll be full-on sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll in the future. Hmm ... actually, that might be happening now ...

Reviewer X said...

I'm considerably younger than both of you, Ambeen and James, and I can't imagine 12-year-olds being treated this way. It just doesn't ring true, even with all the commercialized crap that occurs nowadays.

But hey, that's just my opinion. :)

Steph

alison ashlee said...

Just wondering, but do the icons beside the comments here show up for everyone else, but me?

The Book Muncher said...

first of all: i didnt know zoey wrote another non-a-list novel.

second, those girls can no way be only 12.

third, why the heck is she writing for "middle school" (see comment about girls on cover).

ugh, i should not speak of this around my sister or she will be tempted to buy it (she loves zoey dean)

pimprenelle said...

Oh my, this book makes me feel old (and I'm only 22 too). This isn't YA or teen fiction anymore, it's pre-adolescent fiction. I like Zoey Dean but your review just confirms the doubts I had about this book... I might still read it though, anything but work...

Anonymous said...

okayy so im 13 years young, and i was just trying to fingd the first chapter of talent, and i came upon this site. But anyway i like zoey deans novels, no they dont teach you anything, there for funn. I can of course believe the girls on the cover are 12 or 13, there girls and boys at our school in my opioun that look even older than them. And if 12 year olds cant handle this book, then to put in the best way i can, there mental. I pretty sure at my school there are far worst things that happen than theres, and its not like i live in ghetto either, which of course is sad in a way.

Anonymous said...

im in the middle of this book and i think it is really good! whats the next book in the seires? i need to know!

Steph said...

Anon October 27th - It's called ALMOST FAMOUS.

annie said...

i love this book soo much! does anyone know the models on the covers name? throughout the book i totally pictures them as the characters and although they look older than 12 they fit the role pretty well. if its a movie they should make the one whose supposed to be Emily Mungler, Emily Mungler in the movie! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Alright well I just turned Thirteen and I love this book.Believe me its not bad at all. I just finished reading the whole Gossip Girl series. Twelve year olds are a lot more informed than you think now a days.

Claire said...

Really? I'm really enjoying it! It's a lot better than the Clique. Not as catty and a better plotline. But I get what you mean. Who would actually take a twelve year old "agent" seriously?

Anonymous said...

Ok I guess things have changed a lot since the person who wrote this article was in school. The girls at my school look around the age as the girls on the cover. We have girls in seventh graders that wear heals to school! In my opinion is crazy but it shows how everything is different now. Now the other thing is how you said how can twelve year old girls be taken so seriously, you have to put into thought that Mac's mom is hollywood's biggest agent, Becks dad used to have his own hit tv show, and Coco'a mom was one of the biggest popstars that's why they went to Coco looking for a new duo. Also the thing about her losing Austin to a girl with "big boobs," that's not teaching kids anything bad it happens all the time. So why is it wrong to say it I this book? Another thing is, of you read the book he never choose the other girl over Becks, Becks just took it that way.

Dani Aberdeen said...

okay what a lot of people are saying is that these kids can't be twelve. Oh, yes they can! I go to a preppy middle school (not prep--PREPPY), and there are like a dozen or so 6th graders there that look like they could pass for high schoolers--my bestie can; she was offered a drink while down in Florida! And this is HOLLYWOOD they're talking about in that book, not Fargo. Well, Bel-Air and Beverly Hills more specifically, but these are some A-List, high-society, super-rich kids we're speaking of. They can get whatever they want and can easily be prepared to superstars' kids now. Look at Suri Cruise: she's got everything and is only, what, three? Depending on where you live, people can be VERY different.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently reading this book and I love it. I'm way into fashion and I think it's so unfair how these girls get the Marc Jacobs bags and Vanessa Bruno dresses! xD

rebekah said...

Their Thirteen Going On Four Teen I Mean Did You Even Read The Book?! Remember In The 1st Book Kimmie Tachman's Sweet "Thirteen" See? Duh.

Anonymous said...

It's actually a very interesting book. It's extremely descriptive and gives you the taste of a high-class life. The 3rd book is the best overall. I agree the setting would be better in High School, but don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to read a good book, pick up "Talent" today!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the 4th book was never released and why she wrote no others?

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