Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Princess of Las Pulgas

I'm doing a review today!

...Well, kind of. You know I can't pull those off. Instead, I'm going to hit you with a book description and a few bullet points! 

(From Goodreads:)
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"After her father's slow death from cancer, Carlie thought things couldn't get worse. But now, she is forced to confront the fact that her family in dire financial straits. To stay afloat, her mom has had to sell their cherished oceanfront home and move Carlie and her younger brother Keith to the other side of the tracks to dreaded Las Pulgas, or "the fleas" in Spanish.

They must now attend a tough urban high school instead of their former elite school, and on Carlie's first day of school, she runs afoul of edgy K.T., the Latina tattoo girl who's always ready for a fight, even on crutches. Carlie fends off the attention of Latino and African American teen boys, and one, a handsome seventeen-year-old named Juan, nicknames her Princess when he detects her aloof attitude towards her new classmates. What they don't know is that Carlie isn't really aloof; she's just in mourning for her father and almost everything else that mattered to her. 

Mr. Smith, the revered English teacher who engages all his students, suggests she'll like her new classmates if she just gives them a chance; he cajoles her into taking over the role of Desdemona in the junior class production of Othello, opposite Juan, after K.T. gets sidelined. Keith, who becomes angrier and more sullen by the day, spray paints insults all over the gym as he acts out his anger over the family's situation and reduced circumstances. Even their cat Quicken goes missing, sending Carlie and Keith on a search into the orchard next to their seedy garden apartment complex. They're met by a cowboy toting a rifle who ejects them at gunpoint from his property. But when Carlie finds him amiably having coffee with their mom the next day -- when he's returned her cat -- she begins to realize that nothing is what it seems in Las Pulgas." 
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See, a couple months ago, I won a copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas by C. Lee McKenzie. (I know, I know. I love her, too!) Um, can I just say it was amazing? Here are five things I loved about it:
  • It painted a realistic image of a family dealing with death.
  • It was like Save the Last Dance meets Dangerous Minds. 
  • There were some pretty intense underlying themes.
  • It was twisty!
  • The fact that I can't share the quote I had planned, because I already force-loaned it to my sister. LOL


 
Intrigued? Want to read the first page?


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Where to find The Princess of Las Pulgas:

Where to find C. Lee McKenzie:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
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Have a great week, guys! 

42 comments:

Cassie Mae said...

Ooh, looks like a good one!

J. A. Bennett said...

Sounds really good!

Nancy Thompson said...

I know Lee! And I've heard great things about her book, too. I'll have to put it on my TBR list. And I think you pulled off your own version of a review quite well!

Rachel Morgan said...

Nothing wrong with a bullet point review. I've done them before!

Angela Brown said...

I love the movie description of it being a cross betweeen Save the Last Dance meets Dangerous Minds. Definitely sounds like a good read.

jamieayres said...

Wow, this is probably a book I wouldn't have been interested in based on the title and cover but I want to read it after your *review*:):) And my sister force-lends me books alllllllll the time, lol. Let's just say we have different tastes.

Carrie Butler said...

It is! :)

Carrie Butler said...

I enjoyed it. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Oh, absolutely. It's a great YA. :) Thanks, Nancy!

Carrie Butler said...

Phew! I'm glad I'm not the only one. Maybe I'll attempt more. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Angela! Those two movies immediately came to mind while I was reading it. (Along with this song. ) Yep, definitely a good read. :)

Carrie Butler said...

I'm glad you want to read it now! :) Hah! Don't you just love force-loans?

Medeia Sharif said...

It sounds like a great read. I have another book by the author, Sliding on the Edge, and I'd like to read this one as well.

I tagged you on my blog.

Lydia Kang said...

This blurb really hooked me. I'm going to have to read this (eventually! Argh, my TBR list is HUGE!)

cleemckenzie said...

Carrie, you are amazing. You say you don't do reviews, and then you turn around and do this! Even I want to read Princess after all that you've said--I mean, Save the Last Dance and Dangerous Minds!

Thank you for dedicating this post to Princess. She is very appreciative! Me, too.

Carrie Butler said...

Oo, I'll have to look into her other works. :) Thanks for stopping by, Medeia!

I'll come check it out. :D

Carrie Butler said...

I know what you mean. My TBR list is getting ridiculous, and it's only March!

Thanks for stopping by, Lydia! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Lee! I'm glad you enjoyed it because you, my friend, are a writing rockstar. :)

Morgan said...

Carrie, you rock. Plain and simple. I'm always intrigued with what you have to say... whether it's a rant, a book blurb, or especially an excerpt of your work *winks*

Empty Nest Insider said...

This sounds like a great read! Your insightful list made it easy to agree that TPOLP is a TBR after A to Z! Great job Carrie and congrats to Lee! Julie

Melissa said...

At first, I was thinking nah, this isn't for me. But then I read further. Wow. Not what I was expecting.
Great post, Carrie! = )

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Hi Cassie Mae. Would love to hear from you if you read Princess.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Hi Nancy. Thanks. Carrie really does a great job on her blog--reviews or no reviews. Love my visits here.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I read a lot of blogs, and I love the bullet points. I get the information quickly and yet it's satisfying. I'd vote for more.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Me too! I wish I'd thought of that!

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Bless those sister! We could form a club.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I still have a very soft spot in my heart for Sliding on the Edge. I guess first books are like that. They become something more than just another thing you've written.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I hear you about the TBR list. Mine would trail across the room and out the door if I unfurled it. I need a vacation and a palm tree!

C. Lee McKenzie said...

She does keep a great blog, doesn't she?

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Ah, yes, the A to Z! Do you realize April is almost here? Blogging every day? Cringe. Cringe.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I hope you'll let me know if Princess is a good read.

Carrie Butler said...

"TPOLP is a TBR after A to Z!"

Hah! I feel like we have some kind of secret writers' code! *grins*

Thanks, Empty Nest Insider!

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Melissa! I'm sure you'll enjoy it. :D

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Morgan! I love hanging out at your blog, too. :D

Tara Tyler said...

sounds like a potential award winner that the kids will read in school! i will tell my english teacher friend about it!

The Golden Eagle said...

I found this at my library last year and really enjoyed reading it.

Great review!

Leslie Rose said...

I love Lee's blog and Princess of Las Pulgas is high on my TBR list. Isn't it great when you win a book and fall in love with it?

Carrie Butler said...

That's a great idea, Tara! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Carrie Butler said...

Lucky! I have yet to find any of my author friends' books at the library. For some reason, it sounds like a really cool experience to me. :)

Thanks, Eagle!

Carrie Butler said...

It really is! :) Thanks for stopping by, Leslie!

Talli Roland said...

It sounds like a great read. I definitely need to add this to my TBR pile.

Carrie Butler said...

It is! :) Thanks for stopping by, Talli!