Caffeinated is being taken over by other bloggers and today we have Sara @ Finley Jayne’s Going to the Library. Grab a mocha latte and check out her review of Seven Deadlies. Finley Jayne’s Going to the Library is a unique blog featuring a wide variety of books and discussions! Enjoy Sara’s review, I know she has me curious about Seven Deadlies. Thanks Sara for sharing with us today….
by Gigi Levangie
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Anthologies, Fiction
New York Times bestselling author Gigi Levangie Grazer returns with Seven Deadlies, a witty and wildly different novel set amid the sinful reaches of Beverly Hills, narrated by a captivating, gimlet-eyed Mexican-American heroine. Perry Gonzalez is not like the other kids in her Beverly Hills high school—a full-blooded Latina on a scholarship, living in a tiny apartment with her mother, she doesn’t have much in common with the spoiled, privileged kids who are chauffeured to school every morning. But Perry is a budding young writer with her sights set on Bennington—and her seven deadly stories are her ticket to the Ivory Tower. To pay her way, Perry’s been babysitting (correction: teenage-sitting) and tutoring the neighborhood kids, and she has seen the dark side of adolescence: lust for the “Judas Brothers” that leads to electrocution at a private birthday party concert; wrath that inspires new and perverse family bonds; and greed, in a young Bernie Madoff acolyte who conceives of a copycat Ponzi scheme involving his own grandmother.
I’m so excited to share a review here today on one of my favorite book blogs, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer! Kimberly has written over 800 reviews on her blog, and choosing a book to read and review was a bit of a challenge! But I finally found one that neither of us had read before, and it ended up being a quite a memorable choice!
Seven Deadlies is a series of seven short stories narrated by Perry Gonzales, the 14 year old protagonist, who shares her experiences with ‘teen sitting’ in the rich neighborhoods of Hollywood. The first thing about this book that stood out to me is that while it’s not labeled a YA book, and I found it in my library’s general fiction section, it’s most definitely a YA story.
The writing, narration and short stories all have a younger feel to them. It has lots of references to teen pop culture (Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers etc), and the cast of characters are 13-14 years old. I think this is one of the reasons why this book has gotten such low ratings-people were expecting an adult book and instead got something that’s more of a middle school story. Since I just picked it off of the library shelf, and had no pre-conceived ideas about the book, this didn’t bother me. But I can see how this would be a turn off to others who were expecting an adult fiction story.
Each story gives a Hollywood example of one of the Seven Deadly Sins. We start with Lust and work our way through the list, with over the top stories of children who were bad. The pretty, rich girl who always changed her appearance because of Envy, until her own family didn’t recognize her and she was chased off by the family dogs. The boy who represented Sloth, and spontaneously combusted after spending his whole life playing video games. Each story is crazier than the previous one and readers are led on a wild and often humorous ride through an otherwise serious topic.
I really enjoyed Perry and her narrative voice. She’s practical, smart and endearing. She has a heart for the kids she watches and tries to help them, even as they seem determined to destroy themselves. Her interactions with her mother are also great and these moments were the highlights of the book.
We’re brought through the Seven Deadly Sins and it seems like the book is finished. But then there’s an epilogue of sorts, which changes the entire book. While this part has been ripped apart by other reviewers, I actually really liked it. The twist makes readers think about the story in a different light, and it may have not been such a lighthearted telling of the Seven Deadly Sins, after all.
I liked Seven Deadlies and gave it a rating of 3 stars. Levangie was a new to me author, and I look forward to exploring her other books!
About Sara & Finley Jayne’s Going to the Library
I urge you to head on over to Finely Jayne’s Going to the Library and get to know Sara and her blog. She is on a budget and gets most of her books from the library. I love how eclectic her tastes are and she often has fascinating discussions and ideas to share. Sara weaves in her love of baking, health and blogging tips. New to the blogging world and an aspiring writer Sara is always ready to chat about her passions.
Let’s give Sara a Caffeinated welcome, let her know what you think of Seven Deadlies…
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