Books Young Adult Fiction If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor

If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/50/0c/59/_IfIcouldbelikeJenniferTaylor_1336270265.jpg
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
800   0
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 17, 2011
ISBN
978-1927085929
Buy This Book
      
Carolyn Samuels is obsessed with the idea of being popular. She is convinced that the only thing keeping her from happiness is her too heavy for fashion body and not being a cheerleader. Hyperventilating when she gets nervous doesn't help. When she is paired for a math project with the girl who tormented her in middle school, Jennifer Taylor, she is sure it is going to be another year of pain. With Carolyn's crush on Jennifer's hunky junior quarterback, Brad, her freshman year in high school looks like a rerun of middle school. When Jennifer is the only student who knows why she fell in gym class, Carolyn is blackmailed into doing her math homework in return for Jennifer's silence. Jennifer takes on Carolyn as a pity project since she can't be seen with someone who dresses in jeans and sweatshirts. When Jennifer invites Carolyn to spend the night to make her over and teach her to tumble, Carolyn learns Jennifer's secret and lies to her own friends to cover it up. Will Carolyn become a cheerleader and popular? Does she continue to keep Jennifer's secret? Or will she be a target of this mean girl again?

Editor reviews

Carolyn dreads going to her first day of high school as she doesn't fit what she considers to be the 'perfect' girl. She's plus sized and has her faithful two friends but she's nothing like Jennifer Taylor, who in Carolyn's eyes is nothing short of perfection. Though she fantasizes about being like Jennifer, she still remembers how she tormented her in middle school. Breathe, Carolyn, Breathe, was Jennifer's chant when Carolyn would become so nervous she'd hold her breath and pass out.

What I really liked about this novel is how the main protagonist isn't skinny but rather a healthy sized teen. Carolyn also deals with issues that are familiar with other teens such as struggling with wanting to be popular and fitting in. Her love of her family is shown throughout this book too. Another big plus has to been her attitude. She's not over the top negative or filled with 'tude which is refreshing in a market that at times is filled with darker stories. For teens that want a lighter story, this is the one for them.

It would have been so easy to have Jennifer be the stereotypical 'mean' girl. The author does a great job showing us the real Jennifer, who isn't all perfection.

The huge issue in this story is Jennifer's secret that not only high school but college girls have in common. How Carolyn deals with this information is the main crux of this novel. Jennifer's secret takes a toll on Carolyn in ways she can't even imagine. Add to that her crush, Jennifer's boyfriend, who seems to have taken an interest in her too.

If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor is a real, honest take on a girl who wants to be popular and then struggles with whether she wants to pay that price. I feel this book would be great for high school and book club discussions on food disorders and also peer pressure.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer Reviewed by Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer May 05, 2012
Last updated: May 06, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (417)

Real Contemporary Tale

Carolyn dreads going to her first day of high school as she doesn't fit what she considers to be the 'perfect' girl. She's plus sized and has her faithful two friends but she's nothing like Jennifer Taylor, who in Carolyn's eyes is nothing short of perfection. Though she fantasizes about being like Jennifer, she still remembers how she tormented her in middle school. Breathe, Carolyn, Breathe, was Jennifer's chant when Carolyn would become so nervous she'd hold her breath and pass out.

What I really liked about this novel is how the main protagonist isn't skinny but rather a healthy sized teen. Carolyn also deals with issues that are familiar with other teens such as struggling with wanting to be popular and fitting in. Her love of her family is shown throughout this book too. Another big plus has to been her attitude. She's not over the top negative or filled with 'tude which is refreshing in a market that at times is filled with darker stories. For teens that want a lighter story, this is the one for them.

It would have been so easy to have Jennifer be the stereotypical 'mean' girl. The author does a great job showing us the real Jennifer, who isn't all perfection.

The huge issue in this story is Jennifer's secret that not only high school but college girls have in common. How Carolyn deals with this information is the main crux of this novel. Jennifer's secret takes a toll on Carolyn in ways she can't even imagine. Add to that her crush, Jennifer's boyfriend, who seems to have taken an interest in her too.

If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor is a real, honest take on a girl who wants to be popular and then struggles with whether she wants to pay that price. I feel this book would be great for high school and book club discussions on food disorders and also peer pressure.

Good Points
1. Carolyn is very likeable and not over the top with 'tude
2. Sensitive issues are tackled in a realistic way
Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

Already have an account? or Create an account
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

A MEMOIR BY THE YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE "I come from a country that was created at...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Finally, a phonics primer that's not un-bear-able! Written by elementary reading specialist Kevin Bolger, Lazy Bear, Crazy Bear is a...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Written by elementary reading specialist Kevin Bolger, these short, wacky comics are designed to teach beginning readers the five short...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
What this story needs is a pig in a wig on a boat with some friends having fun in the...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
April and her sons, Matthew and Connor, have never known the freedoms that regular Americans enjoy every day. They...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
two for joy.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
When an adored—and very independent—aunt suffers a fall and comes to live with them, Jenna and her mom discover what...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
23395640.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Want to encourage a child to write creatively? Introduce him to Rufus! The joy of writing (and reading) fills every...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A haunting story about the destructive power of secrets, The Secrets of Lake Road is an accomplished and gripping suspenseful...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Stepping aside eighteen years ago, Maevan’s mother had chosen exile rather than a war she could not win. Now, Mae...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
curse of the king.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Percy Jackson meets Indiana Jones in the New York Times bestselling epic adventure Seven Wonders! The Curse of the King...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a...
 
4.7
 
3.3 (1)
little elfie one.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
From carolers to snowmen to stars, everyone's favorite Christmas characters sing, shiver, and shine their way through the North Pole...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
just a teacher pet.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Join Mercer Mayer's classic and loveable character, Little Critter®, as he sets out on a new adventure in this brand-new...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school, bullies taunt and shove...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The end is near . . . When Aris Haan brought down Safara’s biggest war criminal, she’d thought it was...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the action-packed sequel to Rebel Wing, Aris battles for life and love . . . and not everyone will...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Dr. Seuss tells three rhyming tales featuring the extended family of the Cat in the Hat in I Can Lick...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
A never-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss! This never-ever-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss about making up one’s mind is...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
The Elderine Stone tells the tale of a normal boy who always had dreams of fantasy worlds, filled with magic,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)