Title: The Black Sheep
Authors: Sandy Rideout and Yvonne Collins
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Recommended to: Teen girls, 13 and up
Fifteen year old Kendra Bishop is sick of her dull, boring, orderly life. She's sick of all of her parent's stupid restrictions and rules (there's a whole binder full of them). She's sick of living in a cold marble tomb-of-a-house that's filled with busts of dead musicians. And, lastly, she's sick of being boring old Kendra, daughter of the runaholic bankers. She wants change: and that's why she writes to The Black Sheep, a reality TV show that offers a family swap with another teen. But then a camera crew (accompanied by the obnoxious ratings-obsessed producer Judy) arrives at her front door, and before she knows it, Kendra is leaving her privileged Manhattan life, friends, and her so-called family to live in Monterey, California with a laid-back family of loving hippies, their crazy kids, and their pets. Now Kendra's constantly in the spotlight, whether she's finding a newfound passion in rescuing otters, crushing on her host family's cute son, or being presented on a national talk show to speak about her family. Will Kendra survive? Or will the show completely ruin her life?
Fun, fun, fun! The Black Sheep was a thoroughly enjoyable, quick, lighthearted novel about stardom, the true meaning of family, discovering yourself, and growing up. I loved watching Kendra's transformation from just bland, mousy, sheltered little Kendra to passionate, daring, and loving Kendra. The whole novel was realistic, the dialogue was fabulous, and I absolutely loved the unique Mulligans, no matter how dysfunctional and tree-hugging they are. And Judy's character was absolutely a blast: her speech and actions were hilarious. My one problem was that I found the story to go on for too long. It just seemed to drag a bit, and by the end, it had seemed to repeat itself and its points over and over again. I also have to say: I like the black cover better than the paperback edition. It looks more professional, and the PB just gives it a kind of overly breezy, cheesy, and cliché look, something that I expected before delving into The Black Sheep and realizing it had depth. Which one do you prefer?
Well, consider this novel highly recommended. (: