Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Review: Pack of Dorks by Beth Vrabel

Pack of Dorks (Pack of Dorks, #1)Title: Pack of Dorks
Author: Beth Vrabel
Publisher: Sky Pony
Publishing Date: October 14th, 2014
Pages: 240
Audio Length: 4 Hours and 41 Minutes
Genre: MG Contemporary
Series: Pack of Dorks #1
Source: Audio

Lucy knows that kissing Tom Lemmings behind the ball shed will make her a legend. But she doesn’t count on that quick clap of lips propelling her from coolest to lamest fourth grader overnight. Suddenly Lucy finds herself trapped in Dorkdom, where a diamond ring turns your finger green, where the boy you kiss hates you three days later, where your best friend laughs as you cry, where parents seem to stop liking you, and where baby sisters are born different.
Now Lucy has a choice: she can be like her former best friend Becky, who would do anything to claim her seat at the cool table in the cafeteria, or Lucy can pull up a chair among the solo eaters—also known as the dorks. Still unsure, Lucy partners with super quiet Sam Righter on a research project about wolves. Lucy connects her own school hierarchy with what she learns about animal pack life—where some wolves pin down weaker ones just because they can, and others risk everything to fight their given place in the pack. Soon Lucy finds her third option: creating a pack of her own, even if it is simply a pack of dorks.
Weaving tough issues, including bullying, loyalty, and disability, with a thread of snarky humor, family bonds, and fresh perspective, Pack of Dorks paints characters coming-of-age and coming-to-terms. Beth Vrabel’s stellar debut contemporary middle grade novel is sure to please fans of Jack Gantos, Elizabeth Atkinson, and Judy Blume
This was a review book that was requested a while back and I am trying to go through and read and review those books. 
This would not have been my top choice of reads, but I like some middle grade contemporaries so I thought it wouldn't be too bad. 
I was pretty wrong. Really wrong. I understand that the audience for this book is for younger teens/older kiddos. But I feel like especially with the subject this one has, that maybe it should at least sort of appeal to adults. 
The story should be one that makes adults say "Hey yeah I felt like this when I was this age" 
Maybe I'm just talking out my ass because I really didn't like it. But that's how I feel lol. 
We do have the second one that was requested on Edelweiss but I just feel like I can't do it. I can't read something that I have no desire to read, because it will just be a huge waste of time for me.

Eh, the cover is kind of cute I guess. I appreciate what they were doing because it's a pack for pack of dorks. But it's just kind of meh.

Okay so here is the problem I have. First of all I don't think that any book for kids this age should be teaching them that it's cool to kiss boys/girls. These kids are in 4th grade, meaning they should be 9. I found it really inappropriate that the book started off with her kissing a boy, just to be popular. And then it talked about how she didn't want to use tongue?? No sir. I would be furious if my kid read a book like that at that age. Let's keep our kids young please.

The second thing, and again I understand what the author was trying to do here, but they were so upset because her little sister who was born was born with down's syndrome. And the mom cried. And the dad cried. And the grama talked like it was a bad thing and people looked at the baby like it was awful. The book talked about how the mom was crying and everyone was really sad, almost as if the baby didn't make it.
And maybe it's my own personal experiences, but having a baby with down's syndrome isn't that bad. At least she got to have a baby.
It just really upset me that this was the way the author decided to go.

I found it to be pretty slow. Luckily it wasn't a very long book, because I would not have been able to sit through it at all.

I feel like this book lacked depth. For a book that has such a deep message it just wasn't deep.

I feel like the characters were shallow and badly written. I had no connection to them. I had no emotional feelings towards any of them, except maybe annoyance.

I can appreciate the character growth of the main character. She learned that it's okay not to be popular and how your real friends are the ones who are there for you no matter what.

The description was lacking. I couldn't picture the characters, the area they were in, or anything.

Meh. Just meh. I feel like the MC had some growth and that was basically what the author wanted to accomplish in the end. So therefore 3 stars!

The narrator sounded like a young girl. So she had that going for her.

Not quite what I was expecting and I felt more upset by some of the content than I think the author was aiming for.

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Beth Vrabel is the author of Cyblis-nominated Caleb and Kit, ILA award-winning A Blind Guide to Stinkville, JLG-selection A Blind Guide to Normal, and The Reckless Club and Pack of Dorks series. She can't clap to the beat nor be trusted near Nutella. Beth loves traveling around the country to meet with young readers and writers, sharing a message of grit, resiliency and heart.

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