Sunday, August 5, 2012

Review: Tess, Terrorists and the Tiara

Tess, Terrorists and the Tiara

Author: Terry Baldwin
Pages: 212
Publisher: Middleton Books
Source: Review Copy (Thank you!!)
Release Date: August 10th
Challenge: Ultimate Reviewers' Challenge
Synopsis: Thirteen-year old Tess has never been able to compete with her “perfect” older sister, but now she must—if she wants to inherit her grandmother’s priceless tiara. The two girls have been invited to their grandparent’s lake house for the summer to help take care of Grandma who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The sister who earns the most “helpful points” wins the former beauty queen’s crown.

"It’s not easy for Tess, who seems to always get things wrong despite best intentions. And who is that mysterious stranger who’s just moved next door to their grandparents’ summer cottage? 
Does he know that Tess’ grandmother was once the winner of a famous patriotic beauty contest? Or that she keeps her tiara where anyone can steal it? And why doesn’t he have a face?

Buy the Book (Amazon)

Tess, Terrorists and the Tiara is not a YA book. I wasn't expecting that so I had to adjust my expectations a little bit before reading. I'd say it's a younger MG book.

I think it's a very charming read. I haven't read children's books for a long time so I enjoyed putting myself back there. I could relate with Tess a lot. She reminded me of myself when I was a kid- full of hopes and dreams, imaginative and uh, absent minded. My mom would tell you not a lot has changed. Tess made mistakes but she always meant well.

The plot was very easy to follow and amusing. One of my favourite things about the story was how fast every scene moved. The story felt very complete and it was done in a little over a hundred pages. This was not a boring read at all. I was able to finish it pretty much in one sitting. The setting is very clear and I like the simplicity of the descriptions.

What's interesting about this novel is that it speaks about important issues like discrimination but in a clear way. I've been lucky enough to be raised within a multicultural household and go to the most diverse high school in the region. I don't consider myself a discriminatory or racist person because I have so many experiences with different types of people. Tess is in a different situation. She seems to come from a white background and neither she or her family has much experience with diversity. However, she learns and I really liked that part of the story.

Overall, I think this is a pretty good children's story. I'll probably give it to my sister once she's a little bit older and can read better. I like the message and Tess is a great role model. What I don't like is the that Tess is supposed to be 13 but doesn't act like it at all. I thought she was 8-11 based on the way she acted and her thought process. I can't star-rate the book because this isn't my genre so I don't have very many comparables. For what it's worth, I did enjoy it.

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