Saturday, January 30, 2010

Where is the Grown-up: Book Review of Spring Breakdown by Melody Carlson

Spring Breakdown (Carter House Girls)  I've read and reviewed two other books in this YA series by Melody Carson.  The Carter House girls are a group of girls who live in a boarding house not far from New York City.  They are ostensibly under the care of DJ's grandmother, but in reading this book I've finally realized what it is that has made me uncomfortable about all these books.  Oh, they are enjoyable reads that deal with real issues faced by teens.  They show that being a Christian doesn't mean you don't have fun, it means that you respect yourself and others.  They show that coming to Jesus can be a life-altering experience.  What they don't show is an adult in charge.

In this story, a friend of Grandmother's wants the girls to model swimwear in Florida over Spring Break.  They all head south to stay in a vacation home owned by Grandma's gentleman friend (who doesn't join them until later in the trip, and when he does, Grandma moves to share a room with one of the girls). Before they leave there is a school dance and during the festivities surround it, several of the girls get drunk, which is a relatively normal occurrence.  When Grandma find out, she reads them the riot act, and tells them there will be none of that in Florida, but she doesn't up the supervision level.  They go to Florida, and sure enough, the same girls get drunk.  The same girls make bad decisions about boys, but no one is there to direct them.  The inmates are running the asylum.  DJ is a level-headed Christian girl who seems to be the leader of the pack, but good grief, she's a high school senior, she shouldn't have to supervise her friends, that's what adults are for.  When a crisis erupts, it is the teens, not Grandma who seem to know what to do.

This is series fiction and it is obvious in reading the book that there is missing backstory.  There are characters who are mentioned who seem to have no part in the book, it just seems that we are being "updated" on them. The end of the book is a set-up for the next one.

Grade:  C

My reviews of other books in this series:  New York Debut  Lost in Las Vegas

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your comment about this book on my site! I actually addressed it back in my blog. I thought it was super important.

    I honestly don't think DJs grandmother read them the riot act. She got out the house rules and told them to follow them, pretty much. She never calls the girls out for their behavior and never makes them responsible for their choices. So I totally agree with your review!

    Mimi @ Woven by Words


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