Book Review— The Thrilling Life of Pauline de Lammermoor by Edeet Ravel
The Thrilling Life of Pauline de Lammermoor
(Pauline, btw, Book 1)
by Edeet Ravel
Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 2007
224 pp., paperback, $7.95 (Cdn.)
Recommended for Ages 12 to 15.
“School is absolutely, definitely, incontestably OVER. For the summer, anyway. And I, Pauline Carelli-Bloom, aged nearly 14, am going to spend the summer writing my very first novel. Now I know exactly what fate has in store for me: I’m going to be a world-famous, bestselling, novelist.”
The Thrilling Life of Pauline de Lammermoor is the first book in the Pauline, btw series, written by Giller Prize finalist Edeet Ravel. Pauline is Ravel’s first foray into young adult lit.
Armed with a thesaurus and a copy of You Too Can Write a Great Novel, Pauline Carelli-Bloom is writing her very first book. Her own life is rich with material—from her peculiar parents (her Dad is an artist who paints pictures of old shoes, while her Mom is an ex-opera singer who lives in a lopsided house), to major drama with her BFF, to her developing relationship with an almost maybe-boyfriend, there’s plenty to write about. She also tackles more difficult stories, including her parents’ divorce, a teacher’s loss of a friend to AIDS, and her next door neighbour’s suicide.
Ravel writes like an adult who knows what being fourteen is really like. Pauline’s naivety is obvious, but she’s also heartfelt, easy to relate to, and very witty. There are plenty of pop-cultural references that teens will recognize, such as Canadian Idol and instant messenger lingo. It’s a quick, entertaining read and could easily be finished in one large chunk. There’s not much of a plot, but Ravel does a good job establishing Pauline’s character and history, and setting readers’ up for the next two volumes.
4p (VOYA rating, broad or general YA appeal).