Monday, November 30, 2009

The Attitude Girl by Mila Bernadkin {A Review}

Being a teenager is hard (and being the mom of one is really hard too, but this isn't about me). Mila Bernadkin is a wonderful storyteller who has obviously had a lot of experience with teens. You can tell that she really "gets them" and the characters she crafted are extremely realistic.

The Attitude Girl is the story of Victoria Benson (Vicky) , a 17 year old who is tackling some pretty hefty issues with the help of her closest friends, Alex, Chloe, Jackie and Liza. When Vicky's mom loses her job, Vicky has to come face to face with her shopping problem. She's not too thrilled to find out that she can't shop whenever she wants. This news is the catalyst that pushes Vicky's already questionable attitude over the edge.

This book is written as a first person narrative and includes both Vicky's external interactions and her inner dialogue. As Vicky deals with her mom's unemployment, her feelings of abandonment by her dad, her shopping "problem" and the all to frequent teenage pressures to drink, be sexually active, and to fit in, she learns the importance of friendship.

I thought the story was masterfully written and extremely realistic, however, I wasn't a big fan of the frequent swearing and sexual situations (although I do realize that's part of what makes this book so believable).

Here's a few thoughts from my teenager:

The most important event that happens in Attitude Girl was when all five friends deal with a hard relationship. All five girls deal with hard decisions, Alex and Vicki find out that a best friend is more important then a guy they both like, Chloe learns to step up for herself and not be the “baby” of the group anymore, and finally Liza pays the consequence for a bad choice she made with her boyfriend by finding out that she is pregnant.

The Attitude Girl teaches great lessons about decisions and friendships. Mila Bernadkin basically wrote a story about what an average teenage girl with a single mother goes through everyday. As a Christian, I don’t agree with the language Mila used in her book. Also I believe from my point of view I wouldn’t recommend this book for a junior high student because of some of the topics the characters talk about. Overall, I thought the Attitude Girl makes a great point, as I said before, about how some decisions and the friends I choose to hang around with can ether give me a positive consequence or a negative consequence.

I also really like that the author is from Ukraine...just like me!

You can get a copy of The Attitude Girl from Five Star Publications for $16.95.

Here's a few pieces of information from the Media Kit.

In her debut novel, a first-place winner in the Arizona Authors Association Annual Literary Awards contest, Ludmila "Mila" Bernadkin draws on her experience as a teacher, mother and advanced graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature to identify with the tremulous world of confusing emotions and mixed messages of "maturity" today's teens live in as they feel their way through the process of becoming young adults.

Born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine, a beautiful resort city on the Black Sea, Bernadkin emigrated from the former Soviet Union and came to the United States in 1977. She graduated from the Brest Music College with a BA-equivalent degree in theory of music and music literature, and accepted a teaching position at a children's music school. After moving to the States, she became a Senior Programmer-Analyst, working at several of the largest financial institutions in New York City. However, medical reasons forced her early retirement, which turned out to be a blessing as she realized her life-long dream of becoming an award-winning published writer.

Bernadkin resides in Brooklyn, New York, with her daughter, a graduate student who is working on her Master's degree. Bernadkin loves to travel, listen to music and read.

Disclosure: The Attitude Girl was provided to me free of charge by Mila Bernadkin and Five Star Publications in conjunction with Mama Buzz. All opinions expressed here were my own and those of my daughter.



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