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Sunday, March 15, 2009

To Be Mona

To Be Mona by Kelly Easton (November 25th 2008—Margaret K. McElderry)

Grade: 1.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “Sage Priestly is seventeen, and she longs to reinvent herself -- to strip away the fat, the past, the crazy mom, the unpaid bills. She longs to be her own version of the gorgeous and popular Mona Simms.

Sage starts dieting and exercising. She gets blond highlights and throws away all of her black clothes. Bit by bit she transforms herself. This is deeply troubling to her best friend, Vern, who is secretly in love with Sage just the way she is. But the boyfriend Sage wants—the popular jock Roger—suddenly notices her. And when they start dating, Sage thinks her life is turning around.

So why isn't Sage happier? Yes, Roger is a little too controlling and pushy, but isn't that what boys are like when you date them? What is it about the image Sage has created that just doesn't fit?”

Review: After digesting this book for a couple of hours, my opinion of the book is still (insert heavy silence here). I really am not too sure what to think of the book. Was it fabulous? Not really. Was it horrendous? Nope. So where does that leave it? Smack dab in the middle of what the heck did I just read?

It had a great base, a wonderful foundation, if it only kept going. The premise of the book has been done quite many times before so I looked forward to how the author executed the plot and how she morphed it to something of her own. Only I felt that she headed into the wrong direction. Yes, trying to capture the realistic teenage emotion is good; however when you characterize someone completely solely on appearance and how popular they are, you will not gain any emotional support—from me and hopefully from any other readers.

Sage was too focused on the perfect appearance, to be perfect like Mona. Some have even called her shallow—which I cannot completely disagree. Almost every female teen character was shallow in a sense. But if the author had delved fully into the relationship of Vern, she might have created a scenario where Sage develops. Or into the relationship of her mother creating emotional depth. In reality, however, she skimmed both topics leaving me dumbfounded as to why even bring both topics then.

Roger is…an idiot to put it lightly. Not in the sense where I hate his guts, okay maybe I do, but more of his traits that made him an idiot. He is the all American football playing, horny boy, career goal—cop, talking shit with friends, living with his mother forever, type of guy. I just could not see what Sage saw in him! Wait, I think I do understand. His social status but of course. Even as the story progresses, Sage does not appear to be phased by his more than kiss attitude, in the aspect of actually trying to stop him. Only when he actually tries to really force her does she see the light. Dense, thus is Sage or the idiocy to create such a false image of someone. Narrow-mindedness? Stupidity? Or naïve? You be the judge.

Mona was well, nowhere to be seen. More of the idea of her, her essence, of what she represents, is played in the novel. She, herself, comes in for like 3 lines. And she is of course, pretty, nice, and smart all rolled into one. She ticks me off…only because in the sparing 3 lines, she ends up crying because Sage did not want to go to her house. Pathetic! I mean, it is okay to not get your way at least once! Anyone have a spare backbone? Anyway moving on…

The ending was abrupt. Non-cohesive, and leaving so many unanswered questions. For one thing, whatever happened to Vern! I’ll just leave it there. But I am still dumbfounded to this point about the ending.

Overall: If the book still sounds interesting, borrow this from the library first!

Cover C+


  1. I wanted to read this, but I've really heard anything good about it. Usually I'll still give the book a chance, but I think I'll pass.

  2. uhhh, can i borrow? just cuz i really want to see exactly how bad it is xDD

  3. Oh, yikes. Too bad. It sort of sounds interesting. But I agree about the cover....what the heck?

  4. It does seem formulaic and if it doesn't go much deeper... maybe I won't bother =)