The Wizard, the Witch, and Two Girls from Jersey by Lisa Papademetriou
Genre: YA, fiction, fantasy
On my TBR list?: Yes
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Brief description: Two girls who are total opposites get zapped into the fantasy book that they are studying for English class, changing the plot and themselves in the process.
I checked this out of the library for myself, but my 12-year-old daughter got to it first. She devoured it in two days and proclaimed that I had to read it. Her enthusiasm was the only thing that got me through this predictable book.
To be fair, the one-dimensional characters probably wouldn't be so predictable to a middle schooler who hasn't been exposed to as much television and film as I have. You have the nerdy girl and the rich airhead, the less handsome guy who turns out to be a better person than the buff hotties, and the wisecracking talking animal thrown in for comic relief. I knew before the end of the first chapter what lesson each girl needed to learn. This would be the perfect set-up for a Saturday night movie on Disney Channel, so I wasn't surprised to find out that the author has written novelizations of Disney series like "Lizzie McGuire" and "That's So Raven".
Not only was the book predictable but it also had an identity crisis. There were a couple dark secrets thrown in that didn't fit the otherwise light tone of the book -- not too dark for a 12-year-old to handle, but dark enough to make you wonder which direction the book is going in. If I had a choice, I would have gone with the more serious tone and get rid of the lame jokes that sound cute coming out the mouths of Disney's young ingenues, but fall flat on the page.
Bottom line: although many YA novels appeal to adults, this is not one of them. Save it for your kids.
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