DEAR TYRANNOSAURUS REX, (Random House, $16.99, ages 4-8) written by Lisa McClatchy and illustrated by…
Juli Barry is a mother of three – two of them teenagers – and an avid reader of popular and historical fiction as well as biographies on famous women throughout history. She also reads poetry on a regular basis to keep her Spirit blossoming. She reviewed So Not Happening (A Charmed Life Novel) by Jenny B. Jones from Thomas Nelson Publishing.
A teenage girl named Bella moves from the big city to a small hick town where she meets many unusual characters and experiences a series of strange mishaps. Sound familiar? Well, that’s where the similarities end between So Not Happening and that other book people are reading. There are no vampires nor werewolves in Truman, Oklahoma, but Bella Kirkwood feels as if she has entered an equally less-than-human world that has, “…no fashion. No style. No Starbucks,” when her ex- New York socialite mother marries a farmer/factory worker that she met over the internet. Bella is suddenly torn away from her NYC existence to join her mother, stepfather and two stepbrothers in a rundown Oklahoma farmhouse, trading her prep school status, favorite clubs and shopping haunts — even her room!! – for public school and pickup trucks, pet cows and mud, mud, mud.
Our snobby heroine immediately alienates herself from most of her new classmates when a blog she writes back home is circulated around Truman High. But Bella has a veritable Marc Jacobs bag full of pluck and perseverance as well as a humorous hotline to God as she navigates her way through this small town life and her role within her new family.
As the newest member of the school newspaper she pays her dues with a story on the school’s lack of a recycle conscience – landing her both in the trash cans and onto a bigger, darker story involving members of the Truman High School football team. She also gets in deep with her editor, the nerdily gorgeous (gorgeously nerdy?) Luke Sullivan while still trying to hold on to her New York guy, Hunter. The novel conveys both humor and suspense with LOL scenes interspersed with eerie cult aspects and real danger. Who knew life in Oklahoma could be as exciting as the Big Apple!