Friday, August 23, 2013

Flashback Friday: Avalon High

To newcomer Ellie, Avalon High seems like a typical American high school, complete with jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, and even the obligatory senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy. But it doesn't take Ellie long to suspect that something weird is going on beneath the glossy surface of this tranquil hall of learning. As she pieces together the meaning of this unfolding drama, she begins to recognize some haunting Arthurian echoes, causing her to worry that she has become just a pawn in mythic history.   Quoted from Goodreads


Do not judge this book by the horrible Disney movie of the same name. Seriously.  I read the book, then someone told me there was a made for TV movie based on it, so of course I checked it out.  Poor decision.  First, it changed just about everything from the book.  Second, it was painfully cheesy. Third, the ending made no sense. Granted, it was a made for TV movie, so that should have tipped me off right there, but stupid me, I still watched it.  Now it's up there with Ella Enchanted as the worst book adaptions of all  time.

Now on to the real review.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've been a big Meg Cabot fan (well as big as you can be without having read her Princess Diaries series) for a while, and this book follows pretty much what you come to expect from her.  Strong heroine, cute romance, difficulties caused by some paranormal aspect. You know the drill.

First and foremost, I loved Ellie as a main character.  She's not as snarky or funny as some of Meg Cabot's other MCs, but she's completely relatable.  She's the kind of girl you want to be friends with.  I loved her confidence in herself and her refusal to be shoved into the roll everyone else wanted her to play.  

I  enjoyed the interpretation of the King Arthur myth.  I love Arthurian interpretations, and this was a simple, fun one.   Even if you don't know anything about Kind Arthur (besides his name) this would be an interesting adaption. If you do know something about the legend, this book is even better.  

I enjoyed the portrayal of teenagers. We aren't inundated with cliches and stereotypes.  The popular girls aren't all mean, the jocks aren't all dumb muscle, etc.  And it's not just because they're reincarnated legends from the past. You may hate Lancelot and Guenevere's roll in what happened, but they're sympathetic here.  As for  Arthur, well A. William or Will, he's an excellent modern King Arthur.  He's the sort of person you can see becoming someone great in the future, helping the world the way helped his high school.  Plus he's cute. And confident.  Always a plus.

All in all, if you're looking for a light, fun read, you should check this out.  It's a stand alone, so not a huge commitment.  Plus it's just fun. I love the whole Lady of Shallot thing going on, and that there were a lot of adults involved in their kids lives.  Really, it's a solid 4 stars for me.  Maybe because I have a soft spot for the legend, but mostly because the book was just fun.  

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