Thursday, April 11, 2019

Review: It Wasn't Me by Dana Alison Levy

It Wasn't MeTitle: It Wasn't Me 
Author: Dana Alison Levy
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: November 13th, 2018
Pages:  336
Genre:  Middle Grade Contemporary/Mystery
Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC 
The Breakfast Club meets middle school mystery in this story of six very different seventh graders forced together in the aftermath of a vandalism incident.
When Theo’s photographs are vandalized and trashed beyond all recognition, there are five kids at the scene: The Nerd, the Princess, the Jock, the Weirdo, and the Screw-Up.All anyone will say is “It wasn’t me.”Theo doesn’t care who it was, he just wants to stop being the victim. The sooner the school forgets the whole humiliating thing, the better. But his favorite teacher is asking the six of them to spend vacation week together “learning to trust” and getting to the truth. She calls it a Justice Circle. He calls it his worst nightmare.Theo knows everything he needs to know about his classmates, and he’s sure this Justice Circle is going to be an epic and totally mortifying waste of time. But after a few days of sock puppets gone wrong, artificial flesh wounds, and dangerous candy reconnaissance missions, he’s not so certain. As they share their secrets, Theo realizes that he doesn’t know anyone as well as he thought, not even himself. And the truths they share might change their lives forever.Hilarious, awkward, surprising, and ultimately heartwarming, IT WASN’T ME is a guessing game that keeps readers wondering: what lies behind the labels we wear?

This contemporary mystery book has a good concept that sometimes borrows too heavily on source material. It has some good moments but the similarities to Breakfast Club run way to close at times to be a nice homage and feels more like an okay knockoff.

It wasn't me involves a story of the geek who gets his photos ruined and 5 likely suspects and him being put into school during spring break I believe. I am not sure how many schools would force kids to go to school during their usual vacation. In fact, I don't think they can unless they are in juvenile hall.

The suspects are the overachiever Molly Claremont (yes just like Molly Ringwald), Andre Hall (brainy kid- Anthony MichaelHall), Erik Esrale (the jock- Emilio Estevez), Alice Shu (Ally Sheedy-outcast), Theo (brainy kid), and Jax Fletcher(rebel- Judd Nelson). Even the names of these characters run a little to close to actors counterparts in movie.

The Teacher, Ms. Lewiston comes up with a Justice Circle idea to have the students talk about what happened. The whole idea is to try to get to reason why Theos photos were destroyed and to get these students to understand their peers problems and issues. It has a good premise and I enjoyed many of the interactions. The book had some very cliche ideas of students though and was often to similar to Breakfast Club.

I liked the book and recommend it to young teens as they may not be familiar with Breakfast Club, and will enjoy the dynamics the author brings out. 

Compared with this detention, a little pain and blood loss seems like a reasonable option.
Sorry, not detention. Justice Circle, which sounds like we should light candles and do that wierd ommmm breathing my mom does in yoga. But no, we're in a room with fluorescent lights, two-tone brown tile floor, and the unmistakable smell of that baked ziti/chicken patty/pizza mix. I swear the whole school smells like those three foods, even if the cafeteria hasn't served them in weeks. Who knows why? Who knows why anything happens in this place? Certainly not me. And if we're going to point the stern finger of blame for this whole thing, it should go Lewiston

Dana Alison Levy was raised by pirates but escaped at a young age and went on to earn a degree in aeronautics and puppetry. Actually, that’s not true—she just likes to make things up. That’s why she always wanted to write books. She was born and raised in New England and studied English literature before going to graduate school for business. While there is value in all learning, had she known she would end up writing for a living, she might not have struggled through all those statistics and finance classes. THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER is her first published novel, but she has a trunk full of other attempts, which vary in degrees of awfulness.
Her books about the Family Fletcher have garnered starred reviews, multiple Best Of lists and state reading lists, and are Junior Library Guild selections. Also her kids like them.

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