“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench
rollscresssandwichespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater----'

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fabulous Terrible: The Adventures of You • YA fiction

Fabulous Terrible: The Adventures of You
by Sophie Talbot
Just out! • Chooseco • YA fiction
In six short months, your entire life has gone into turnaround...
Story: Fabulous Terrible: The Adventures of You, a brand new novel for teen girls from the creators of the classic best-selling “Choose Your Own Adventure” series, puts YOU at an elite girls’ boarding school where you face a complicated social scene, super competitive classmates and … elements of magic. As if your new life in the fast lane isn’t enough, what’s with your sudden psychic talents?
Story behind the story: "We understand that when teens girls read, they want to have a deep unique experience with the characters -- they want to form relationships with them," says Chooseco publisher Shannon Gilligan. "Fabulous Terrible is “chick lit” geared around info that YOU and your friends can find in the book and online. Girls like to try on personas and writing the book in the 2nd person point-of-view, true to classic Choose Your Own Adventure style, allows readers to learn about themselves as they read the book. Fabulous Terrible is about an orphan with a lot of strikes against her. She's grappling with growing up (who isn't?), there's a really strong geek girl character, and an additional element of magic thrown in." See the Which FABULOUS TERRIBLE Girl Are You? Facebook quiz.

“This fantasy novel is different than any book I have ever read....What makes this book different is the main character, it is you.…make[s] you want the sequel, Fabulous Terrible: The Adventures of You: Chloe to come out sooner than October. I definitely recommend this book to those out there who love chick-lit with a fantasy twist or those looking for a good light read.”
– Sarah Bourg, YA librarian, Lebanon Public Library, Lebanon, IN (yasarah.blogspot.com)

“Fabulous Terrible is the perfect choice for any and every reader. The combination of mystery, friendship and secrets makes it hard not to love. No matter when or where you read it you’ll immediately be hooked. 4.5 Stars! (P.S. For those still not convinced, think A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Private.)” -- ChickLitTeens (chicklitteens.blogspot.com)

25 copies available. Order your reviewer's copy now.

41 comments:

Bonnie Langan, Children's Librarian said...

Rating 4: Sophie Talbot has created yet another excellent series for girl readers. As the first book of the series the reader can’t get enough. Mentally you are writing the next book when you finish the first one. This book begs to have a composition assigned by an English teacher to complete another descriptive character. Intrigue and suspense are demonstrated throughout the book. Many children may be able to identify with the main character or at least one of her friends or foes. Talbot may be opening the eyes of how others may see themselves and how they treat others.
As a Children’s Librarian, who recommends books for the 12+ age, I will most certainly add this to my list of recommendations for interesting reading. I recently changed jobs from a large branch to a small branch with more responsibilities. I will be able to keep up on more of the children’s literature as I will be ordering and looking at more options to purchase exciting books for the children. This book certainly sparks an interest in reading.
I work within the Harris County Public Library system. I have worked for 6 years and have a MLS. My undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education with a reading minor. My name is Bonnie Langan.

Linda said...

This is an excellent series for young adult girl readers who like fantasy like The Gemma Doyle trilogy, but lighter. This series is from the same publisher who does the Choose Your Own Adventure series and even though this is called a CYA, it is definitely not done in the choice-making tradition. The book is written from the "you" perspective, which is different from other books. I think once the reader gets beyond this viewpoint, they will truly enjoy it.
This is definitely a book that I will be recommending to my middle school girls. Their only problem will be having to wait for the sequel!

Jennifer said...

Rating: 4

Taken from my longer review here:

First off, this isn’t a Choose Your Own Adventure. It’s just written in the second person. So that was disappointing. From what I can tell, the rest of their new books are, but that this one is merely supposed to be “interactive.” Theoretically there is an internet component, but other than a facebook quiz, I didn’t see anything.

I didn’t find the second person narration distracting, it was handled well and actually helped gloss over what might have otherwise been shortcomings in the storytelling (it made it easier to tell, not show.) And I genuinely enjoyed and got caught up in the story. The “you” character (I think a name might have been mentioned, but I forget it) is interesting and complex, especially in the first half of the story. She’s wary and a bit damaged from her experiences in the foster system, but not permanently so. She’s anxious to begin a better life, but doesn’t blindly want to become like the worst of her spoiled classmates; the future life she envisions for herself and the women she wants to emulate are all worthy of the effort. Where the story loses a little bit of its steam is in the unfolding of the treacherous plot. But luckily the book doesn’t fall into the A-Great-and-Terrible-Beauty trap of making her question her powers too much or of having friends who don’t back her up. For the most part, when she does falter it’s just for a second and then she acts sensibly again. Like with the Lemony Snicket books, one of my biggest dislikes is when plots are advanced because the main characters stand passively by while bad things happen. They hem and haw and are scared even though they are meant to be exceptional. I’ve come to realize it’s a personal preference, and try not to judge books as being badly written just because of it, but I really can’t enjoy many books because of it. Grumpy Harry Potter I’m looking at you.

It’s a fun book, and may be good for younger teens or older ones who are reluctant readers. It’ll be a series, with the next one told from the perspective of one of the minor characters. There is one F-bomb that gets dropped, but to good effect. It comes as a shock in this otherwise squeaky clean book, and it’s meant to.

Deborah Muldawer said...

Rating: 3.5

As an avid fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure series, I expected something similar in style or genre since the book was promoted so strongly with that connection. However, Fabulous Terrible is very much its own book.

Although written in second person, the protagonist's visions or "shimmers" add a third person perspective and deepen some of the characters. For example, the brilliant Anupa actually pays for her own tuition by selling computer programs and is not on scholarship at all, though this is what she would have her parents and fellow students believe. And the tranquil Elizabeth acts both derisive and frustrated in the shimmer where she's discussing the potential of "the one."

Fabulous Terrible is lively and well-written. Overall the characters are quite memorable, especially Hayden Murdoch, who calmly appropriates the protagonist's room on day one and then uses her rich girl tentacles to make life miserable for the protagonist and the protagonist's friends.

However, there are some character inconsistencies which weaken the plot. First, Karen, the protagonist's foster mother, is so upset about the protagonist's shimmers that she wants to relinquish custody, despite claiming to love the girl. It's hard to believe that anyone would give up on someone they love, especially a straight-A, well-mannered girl, because of occasional spells that sound no worse than extreme spaciness. Certainly, the protagonist doesn't share her visions, so Karen is reacting entirely to the withdrawal.

Second, at Trumbull Woodhouse, there is a tremendous amount of work and the professors clearly have high expectations. It seems odd that Samantha Carden would be allowed to be so casual with her students that she could dye their hair and giggle with them like a girl at a slumber party. A parent or fellow teacher might question her professionalism, yet this does not seem to be an issue.

Third, after the girls break into Carden's apartment, they clear their own names with their evidence, but don't get into trouble for breaking half a dozen school rules, not to mention breaking the law.

Fourth, the relationship between Chloe and the protagonist is quite sketchy, though the reader has a sense that Chloe is going to become important.

Fifth, it's hard to understand why Elizabeth is so impressed with the protagonist's actions. She is still unaware of the depth and frequency of the shimmers and still has no way of knowing if the protagonist is "the one," yet she entrusts her with the secret of the source and of the Apocryphon.

That said, despite character and plot inconsistencies, Fabulous Terrible was entirely captivating and great fun to read. Because of some curse words and a twisted, complicated plot that weaves in and out of time, Fabulous Terrible would be most appropriate for an older teen audience.

While Fabulous Terrible will probably never become a literary classic, it has the potential to become a teen favorite and I, for one, am eagerly anticipating the sequel.

Lori said...

Fabulous Terrible
By: Sophie Talbot

Rating: 4

I teach middle school students and am constantly looking for new books and authors to introduce to them. I will definitely recommend this series to the girls in my classes! I, myself, can't wait for the next book in the series to be released. I never put it down from the time I started it until I finished the last page!

Talbot has created a great set of characters that you want to get to know. The main character is very interesting because of the difficult life she has lead. She has also created a character, Hayden, that you love to hate. The girls, in general, are strong characters who use their intelligence and ingenuity to solve the problems they encounter. These are good role models for girls today.

Lori Stolaski
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
Milwaukee, WI

Rachel, middle school teacher said...

Rating 3: As an avid fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure series as a child I was somewhat disappointed that this book wasn't more interactive. I found the "you" perspective to be distracting initially however I soon got past that and enjoyed the novel. I gave the book to my eleven year old daughter to read and she asked me to search for other titles written by Sophie Talbot. Talbot has managed to write a book that contains many elements of other popular teen series-The Clique and Harry Potter come to mind. I already know a few students who will enjoy this novel and I will happily pass it along. This novel will also be useful in discussing point of view.

Ristau Family said...

Rating 4 : I loved the first book, Fabulous Terrible and already have the next book in my cart on Amazon. I think young adult girls will find this book hard to put down: from the references to fashion and brand names and the too-perfect boarding school to the suspense that Talbot creates in this book.

My first reaction to this book was confusion. Since what I had read about it led me to believe it was somewhat like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, I was confused about this book, which to me is not interactive at all. The only aspect that led me to believe it was interactive is that it is written as though the reader is the narrator. Once I got over my initial confusion, I will admit I was hooked.

I will also say that there are a few things I found implausible - the idea that a foster child had such a stable family life as well as the idea that she is accepted to an elite boarding school that ends up being paid for -along with spending money is too perfect for me as an adult. I am not sure that teen readers would find such problems in their reading.

Despite the two flaws, the rest of this book was wonderful.I had a hard time putting it down and even looked ahead when fifty pages from the end I needed to know who had been sabotaging the protagonist. While the loose ends are tied up for the most part in this installment, there is the promise of a second installment as the reader wonders how the protagonist and Chloe are related along with the four other girls who are able to "shimmer."

I would happily recommend this to any teen reader and think this series is a good addition to the series fiction already on the market.

Tina Ristau
Teacher Librarian

jlarkin said...

Rating: 4

I really loved this book! Mystery, suspense, great characters - it had it all. I have to admit that the point of view irritated me for the first few chapters - during a lot of narration...but once the main character arrived at school and the plot really developed, it didn't bother me anymore!

As a 7th grade teacher, I know that my female students will really enjoy this book. I definitely will look forward to the sequel and can't wait to put it in my classroom library!

Patti Harju said...

While the story was enjoyable, having it written from the "you" perspective was distracting and not effective. This couldn't be about "me" as I don't share any of the experiences. I think 1st person would have been more believable. It did bother me that the foster parents wanted to send the "you" character back because of her shimmers. Any mother reading this would have a great deal of trouble with this. I would also have liked to hear more about the shimmers. There was a point in the story where I forgot about them, and they are an important part of the story and main character.
Overall it was an enjoyable read, although I don't think I will pick up the sequel.
I gave the book to my teen daughter who is an avid reader and the "you" perspective turned her off and she didn't end up finishing the book.

Jennie said...

Rating 2.5

Told in present-tense second-person narrative, this is the story of you. If you are an orphan from South Carolina. A psychic orphan. Well, it doesn't matter--you just got a full scholarship into one of the best boarding schools in the country! Too bad someone is out to destroy you--from hacking your blackboard account so assignments are never turned in, to forging notes from your soccer coach telling you a match has been canceled, someone is out to get you.

Plus, your visions of the future are getting seriously weird.

Here's the problem: the back of the book says promises "A society sworn to uphold the founder's deepest secrets has become divided. A war for power seethes just under the campus's placid calm. And a mysterious missing book of predictions is about to change your world forever." And yes, the book will change your world, I assume in the NEXT installment because all that? Happened in the last 8 pages of this book.

This book is obviously meant to set-up the series, but that means it was slow-moving with too much explanation and all the real excitement was at the very very end. While the premise sounds interesting, the pacing issues don't make me want to pick up the next in the series where things might start to get interesting. In fact, if I hadn't been reading this for review, I doubt I would have finished the book--the first hundred pages just dragged too much. Middle school readers might be more forgiving though.

Renee said...

Rating: 3.5

I was looking forward to reading this book because I thought it would be a "Choose Your Own Adventure Book". When I started reading, I noticed that it was just in the "style" of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" because it is written in the second person. Since I haven't read any books in the second person since I was a child and read the original "Choose Your Own Adventure", I was distracted by the perspective. It also could be that I no longer have the mindset of a 13 year old girl! I would like to have seen some choices -- that would have been a great addition.

I have two opinions on the book. The first opinion is from an adult perspective. I liked the book. I thought that it was somewhat predictable with major themes that are prevalent in other books, but still enjoyable from that perspective. I am curious how the rest of the series turns out. I liked the main characters and I thought that they made good choices, for the most part, in the book. The second opinion is from my perspective as a middle school teacher at a Catholic school. There is a witchcraft theme that makes me uneasy. There was one instance of the ultimate obscene word, reference to "pot", and one other reference to sex, alcohol, and smoking. The main characters did not partake in any of these activities, but that they are mentioned at all gives me pause to recommend it for my library. I realize these are things that kids know about and have to deal with. As a "regular" person, I would let my 13 year old niece read it (I think she'd love it)-- she's read the whole Twilight series for goodness sake, but as a teacher in my situation, I don't think I'd recommend it professionally. That said, I personally liked it enough that I may just get the second book for my own curiosity!

Ellen said...

Rating: 4

Although I was a bit disappointed that this was not really a "girl version" of Choose Your Own Adventure, I truly did enjoy the book. I am hoping that the next installment will be more CYA-friendly.
The characters are thoroughly enjoyable and I came to care for them by the end of the book. I look forward to reading the next installment. Being on your own is always a popular aspect for preteens and teens and the setting of an all-girls school is an appealing thought for many girls who want an escape.
At first the use of second person was a bit offsetting. After a couple of chapters, I was able to get into it better. There is not much out there in second person and I believe this book can be an asset in that regard.
As someone who teaches young people how to choose books for the classroom, I feel this book would be worth the money and the space in the library.

PLLoggerR said...

I requested a copy of "Fabulous Terrible: The Adventures of You," thinking it was a Choose Your Own Adventure type of book. I was wrong, the book didn't have the branches and choices I had expected. Instead it was a story about me, or at least one written as if the main character were me. If you are confused, so was I. The story kept saying "you did this, "you did that." At first I was put off, then got into the swing of the story. But in the end I didn't care for this gimick.

The gimick I did like was "my" fantasy-like ability of seeing into the future and the hints that other characters also had abilities. Unfortunately this characteristic, while providing the basis for many of the events in the book, wasn't built up enough, leaving me with less interest in the rest of the book. Must be my science background and wanting to delve into what is normally considered the unexplained. In this case it was still unexplained, but there was promise that this ability and special abilities of other characters would be part of future stories about "me." Not sure I'll return to have it all explained.

Rating: 2.5.

Becky, rural library Co-Director

Sam Maskell, Youth Services Librarian said...

Rating 3
I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure series as a young reader, and I’ve been very pleased to see them updated and reissued now for new readers. While this book is published by that company, this is not a Choose Your Own Adventure title. Instead this is a teen, chick-lit, fantasy written as if You are the main character of the story.

You are a foster child who has found yourself accepted to one of the best boarding schools on a full scholarship. You are also prone to psychic “shimmers” where you glimpse the future. Like so many other books in the teen-chick-lit genre there are brand names being dropped, mean rich girls with selfish agendas, and BFFs galore.

The story is entertaining; overall I found this book to be a fun, light read. There are some references to substance use and one or two instances of language, which may make this book less appealing to some collections. I would give this a rating of 3 – it’s fun, the second person concept of the main character is interesting, and I think this title would be popular among YAs.

~Sam Maskell, Youth Services Librarian
Rockingham Free Public Library

Dave said...

I thought it was a good book, just not suitable for the 6th graders in my classroom to read, because of some of the language

lisa sabella said...

I found this book to be a very fun read. I grew up reading create your own adventure books, so I was sold on this one to begin with. After reading the book, it did not disappoint. Sophie Talbot did an excellent job of keeping create your own adventure alive with a new twist.

My sixth grade students would love this book, especially my sixth grade girls. They were immediately enticed by the cover when they saw it sitting on my desk. After reading it, I know I can recommend it to them without hesitation.

Picnic Basket Rating: 4

Head Monkey said...

Since I prefer YA fiction to adult fiction, this was a great read for me!I enjoyed the pop culture references and modern feel to the book. Below is a modified review from my blog, Middle School Monkeys (www.middleschoolmonkeys.com).

The main character(aka "You")has had a troubled life, abandoned by her parents and gifted with "shimmers" to foresee the future. She was living with a caring foster family who was starting to question their decision to have her live with them. The solution - find a boarding school to move to with a full scholarship to cover tuition. After a few rejections, she is accepted at Trumble Woodhouse - a very exclusive all girls boarding school. We then follow the trials and tribulations of her/your adventures at TW and why someone is out to get you/her!

I enjoyed the pace of the book and found it to be an easy-read. I am sure most of my grade six girls would enjoy reading this book and would have little trouble following the storyline. They may have a hard time relating to the rigors of a strict boarding school,but a reference to any of the Harry Potter books may make the connection clearer.

In the beginning, I had some difficulty putting myself into the main character's shoes. After I got my head around it, I think it helped me feel more attached to the main character's feelings and actions.

Yes, there were a few inappropriate words in the book, but I really didn't feel it overrode the generally clean nature of the book.

Overall rating: 4.

Can't wait for the next book in the series!

Mflick1 said...

Rating: 3

This was the first book I have read by Talbot and it was intriguing. I Thought the plot line was slow moving for awhile but picked up in the middle. I did think that end was abrupt. There is a sequel to follow so it should be opened ended, yet I wanted more closure for the main character and more detail about what happened.
She did capture 9th grade girls well and her use of current styles, fads, and people was well done. The set of characters that were constructed were perfect and typical of high school girls. The author set-up a good series to continue.
I do have several high school girls that would enjoy this book. I do think the reading level is on the lower side for them but they would find this book good and read the rest of the series.

Lianne Johnson said...

I didn't know anything about the book, Fabulous Terrible, so I was intrigued by the second person point of view- what was the author's purpose in the repeated "you?" I thought perhaps it was the author's way of creating more mystery about the author's reliability. However, in retrospect all it did was distance me from the main character. Although I found the story enjoyable- a combination of a fantasy, a mystery, and a chick book, it became clear that many of the plots mysteries would remain unanswered so many more books could follow. I would give Fabulous Terrible: The Adventures of You by Sophie Talbot three stars because I think it would be much better without the "choose your own adventure" attempt. -- Lianne Johnson

wordwarrior said...

Rating 4

Fabulous Terrible, The Adventures of You; by Sophie Talbot engages the reader from page one with its unique point of view. “You” are the main character in the novel and “your” life unfolds between the pages. The story of an orphaned girl surviving the foster care system and having the courage to take her life path into her own hands is encouraging to young adults who feel that they are trapped in a system with no way out.
As a paraprofessional for children with learning disabilities, I see many young adults who feel they are at the mercy of others and the system. Some have home lives that are less than desirable. They feel no one cares and there is nothing they can do to change their situation. Talbot creates a character with special psychic gifts and the inward drive to avoid being placed in yet another foster home by studying hard, and getting a scholarship to an elite boarding school. No, this may not be a realistic solution to most kids’ problems and home lives, but it is an entertaining way to present the idea that “You” can work hard and make a good life for yourself no matter the situation you begin in at the start.
The story is a fast paced romp through the boarding school, Trumbull Woodhouse. “You” meet many interesting characters and learn to make friends at the school. There is a mystery playing out that involves “you” and “your” ultimate fate concerning your psychic talent. Some friends and professors at the school can be trusted; others cannot; only “you” can decide who they are.
The novel leaves “you” thirsty for more at the conclusion as another Trumbull Woodhouse student is in peril and “you” must read the next book to find out what happens. I believe this novel would be appropriate for secondary and even high school readers. The reading level is not difficult but the content may be a bit sophisticated for younger readers.
Laura, High School Paraprofessional

Allyn said...

Fabulous Terrible: The Adventures of You was a fun read and I definitely can see my middle school young ladies being engaged with this series. I found the use of second person confusing and kept questioning myself on how a below-level reader might take or understand that aspect. The random unnecessary foul language also threw me for a loop when it truly could have been omitted. Note to authors and publishers: you do not have to use curse words to make it attractive to young adults.

The ending was a bit forced, but I look forward to the next book in the series.

Picnic Basket: 3.5

A. Hunt
8th Grade Language Arts Teacher

RickertsZoo; Summerfield, NC said...

It took me the first two chapters to fully appreciate the 2nd person genre. Once I became accustomed to the format, I begin to really enjoy the story. As an adult reader, I found a few missing connections, but I don't think the younger readers would be as bothered. Hopefully, some of those elements will be answered in the second book.
I found myself really enjoying the characters and setting and was disappointed to read the last chapter because of unanswered questions!
I would recommend that Choose Your Own Adventure NOT be mentioned in advertisements because I found myself thinking it would be a choose your own adventure.
I would recommend this book to my sixth graders. I would give this book a picnic basket rating of a 4.

Katie Graham said...

Fabulous Terrible was one of the best books I read in a while. It grabbed my attention right away and i finished it very quickly. It has a nice little sci-fi twist to a teenager trying to deal with normal issues. It is interesting to read about private schools even if you have never been to one. I can't wait for the next book to see what else will happen, because I felt like this one ended a little too quickly. I would relate this book to Harry Potter being that it is set in a private school, a little magic to it, and adventures/villians that need to be taken care of. I can see it turning into quite a series. The author may consider adding a little more magic to it in the future.
I would rate it a 4.

M. Lee said...

I really liked this book. Fabulous Terrible was great. I could not put it down once I started it and can not wait to read more. The cover is weird but it is eye catching. The title is different but that could be good. I will recommend this book to all of my students. I think my high school girls will enjoy reading this book.

I am giving this book a 5 because I liked it that much and I believe that my students will also enjoy it that much.

Marcella Lee
Media Specialist
U.S. Grant High School
Oklahoma City, OK

Anonymous said...

Sandra said...
I gave this book a rating of 4. I didn't care for the 2nd person point of view. Once I adapted to it I could not put the book down. I thought that all of the girls were going to be snobs because they came from rich families and was surprised by the depth the author created. There were enough twists and turns to keep me on the edge of my seat. Just about the time I thought I had figured out who was behind something, another twist occurred. I know that many of my students will be able to identify with the characters. I will absolutely put it on my shelf. I look forward to the next one coming out and will look for other books by this author as I had not heard of her before.

Susan Appleton said...

Rating 4: This book was one of those that you just can't put down! The day I got it, I sat down and started reading it and carried it from room to room and read every spare minute I got! Even now it 1:40A.M. and I just finished it! I can't wait to get the next installment in this saga and find out what happens! The friendship between the main character and Willa, Casey, and Anupa is so realistic of that of many young adult girls and the intrigue and mystery compels the reader to keep reading! The only thing I didn't like was some of the language in the book. I don't understand why the author would use"the f-word or the b-word" in a novel targeted at middle school girls. That is the only thing that made it unappealing to me as a teacher. I cannot put this book on my 5th grade bookshelf because many parents would find it offensive and question me about it. Other than that, it is a WONDERFUL and well-written novel and I actually enjoyed the second-person perspective which makes YOU feel like YOU are the main character! GREAT JOB!

Anonymous said...

This book was difficult to get into but once I was drawn in I was hooked. It starts moving and does not stop. I am looking forward to reading more!

Anonymous said...

"Fabulous Terrible" is written in a "you" format which never felt like me in the story. Part Nancy Drew, part Gossip Girl, this book fell flat on both accounts with me and is why I rate it a 1: Not sorry if this picnic is rained out.

With that said, I immediately gave it to one of our young teen readers who promptly got involved with the story and thoroughly enjoyed it. One thing the student commented on, voluntarily, was that the "you" format was more confusing than adventurous.

I really wish we had more than two weeks to post responses, because I believe that even though our opinions are important, the students' opinions are going to tell us how the book will stand up in circulation.

Julia Pitau
Media & Intervention Technician
Denair Charter Academy
Denair, CA

Deborah Sloan said...

To Julia and all other Picnic Basketers: Just wanted to let you know that while I'd like you to post your review within 2 weeks of receiving it (the publishers and authors are anxious to hear what you have to say), please know that I'm willing to be flexible. If you need more than that time -- especially to share it with some students as well -- please take it. Or please feel free to comment again on the site - at a later date - with feedback from your students. It's especially helpful with books for older teens to hear their take on a book. Thanks for bringing up that the suggested review time period can be an issue Julia... in the end, we're looking for reviews that express how you feel it'll work with your students -- but very happy to hear from them too. They're the ones the books are for! If that takes a bit longer to get, we'll wait!

K.Deeb, Sarasota Florida said...

Rating 4 on Fabulous Terrible: The Adventures of You. I enjoyed this book. I think 4th graders and up would enjoy reading this book. Give it a try I think you will enjoy it too.

Ashley said...

I think that this is a great start to a series for upper elementary or middle school students. I found this read to be enjoyable and it kept me entertained.

I think that it will appeal to girls and will keep them excited for the sequel.

Catherine Yezak said...

Rating 4: Overall, I enjoyed this story. It was nice to see strong female characters who were taking care of themselves and others. As a special education teacher, I often deal with students who are in foster homes and I'm thrilled to see a story that they can relate to. However, I was a bit disappointed at how frequently typos would throw off the story as well as bringing up details that were not mentioned earlier in the story (the narrator being left alone in Morse Hall that wasn't mentioned prior to the girls being called into the dean's office). Otherwise, I will definitely be using it in class to encourage some of my more reluctant readers and I look forward to its sequel in the fall.

Catherine Yezak, Special Education Teacher, Marquette Area Public School, Marquette, Michigan

Anonymous said...

I would definitely rate this book a 4.5. I started this book yesterday and found it difficult to put down. Luckily, I have been able to squeeze in some reading time during some of my classes.
I didn’t read any of the reviews prior to reading this book. I always hate having a preconceived notion about what will occur in a book. Now that I have read the other reviews I will agree with those who say it is NOTHING like ‘the choose your own adventure’ series. I find it to be similar to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan or the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.
As to the second person point of view, I did not find that to be confusing at all. In fact, I enjoyed the variety.
I loved the suspense and mystery. The characters are ones that my students would connect with and relate to. I honestly feel that the book/series would be loved by students in grades 6 and up.
I do have 1 major issue- the use of a MAJOR swear word (the f bomb as my students would say). As a teacher/reading specialist (and a parent), I feel that word would raise the eyebrows- other swear words can be ignored but that one is a BIG one! I would keep the book in my classroom library but I would not read this book as a class. Call me chicken!

D. Briley
Educator/Reading Specialist

Tegan said...

Rating - 4
I can't wait until October. At first, I was a little disconcerted by the second person nature of the story. After the first few chapters, it really started to grow on me. I'm sure pre-teen girls will love this book. It reminds me of Stephenie Meyer - the eager anticipation of more to come. I think it is a little too mature for my students, but I will definitely send it to one of my upper grade colleagues.
Tegan Sexton
4th Grade Teacher
Magnolia Park Elementary
Ocean Springs, MS

Jessica said...

Harry Potter meets the Devil Wears Prada! This book combines the magical aspect of the J.K. Rowling series with the fasion humor of The Devil Wears Prada. Such a great mix of two very different works. Like other readers, I was thrown off by the second person voice of the book but quickly got used to it. Once I knew what was going on with the "you" tone of the book I could not put it down! I feel that students will really be able to relate to "you" in the book becuase they will place themselves as the main character. There is a little bit of language that might cause problems in class, however for the right students this book will be incredible! I will be ready to read the next one in October!
Rating : 4

Anonymous said...

Shared this one with my daughter and had to fight to get a look at it myself. We give it 4-5 rating. She loved the current story line and characters you probably already know...or are in your next class. She is already awaiting the next book. Pack it in our picnic basket.

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Anonymous said...

Update on Fabulous Terrible:

Even though I did not rate this book highly, (female, high school)students have taken a like to it. To date, this book has received only top ratings from our readers. The only drawback noted is the book cover.

Julia Pitau
Denair Charter Academy
Denair, CA

Laura _SPED Teacher said...

I did enjoy the book and found it to be a very intersting read. I had the bookng sitting on my desk at work, as I was reading throughout the week. I found my student's very interested in cover. They wanted to knoe more about the girl with "rainbow lipstick"! I think the characters and story line will interested and "hook" some of my Non-readers. My only big issues was the use of language, especially the "f" word. As a result of the language, I do not think I would put this book in my classroom library.

Anonymous said...

Rating 2
I would only recommend this book under certain reading situations. Fabulous Terrible: The Adventures of You was a quick, easy read. I can see some middle school age girls enjoying the experiences of the outsider trying to fit in to her new boarding school. However, this is not one I would recommend for several reasons. First, the main character is never named and the whole story is told in the voice of “you” which just seems annoying and contrived after a while. Secondly, “your” ability to see “shimmers” and the idea that “you” have been maneuvered into attending this school as a secret “chosen one” seem like plot elements that we have seen done much better in other books, namely Savvy and Harry Potter. Thirdly, the inclusion of a couple of totally unnecessary expletives(F-bombs!) means that I would never put it on the shelves.
Anne S., Elementary (K-8) Librarian

Molly said...

Definitely chick-lit. While I found the book to be slow moving, I, for the most part, enjoyed it. When students asked about it after seeing it on my desk, my response tended to be, “Ah, it’s not fabulous but it’s not terrible; I’ll let you know when I finish it”. Now that I am finished, I still stand by that comment, but I lean more toward the fabulous end. I did not care for the narration. I understand that it was meant to be an “Adventures of You” book, based on the premise of the Choose Your Own Adventure style, but I never really felt like I was the character, which annoyed me after a while. I’m not sure why it was promoted as such, as there was never any “choice” in the novel. I would have preferred a first person narration for this book. I did like it enough though to want to read the second one, and I certainly will recommend it to my female readers. I give this book a 4/5.

Molly Matchak, Librarian
Hickory High School