The Popularity Papers: The Rocky Road Trip of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang: A Book Review

Hi!

That was a very long title :)

The Popularity Papers: Book Four: The Rocky Road Trip of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang

The Popularity Papers: The Rocky Road Trip of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow

Summary: School’s out! Julie and Lydia have successfully made their way through sixth grade, but they are thankful it’s finally summer. When their parents have a “Double Family Meeting,” Julie and Lydia learn that they will be taking a road trip! Julie’s dads are helping Papa Dad’s grandparents move, and the girls are tagging along. On the way back, they’ll stop at a few places, see a few sights, and continue to gather information for their quest for popularity. However, families are never perfect. Lydia’s dad could care less about his daughters. Julie’s other set of grandparents don’t want to accept Daddy. Camping was NOT a good idea. Will Julie and Lydia be able to work through all of the tension and still enjoy their vacation?

My Thoughts: Julie and Lydia make me laugh. And smile :) The entire Popularity Papers series is hilarious, and it deals with heavy themes in a funny and entertaining way. I feel that these are much better than Dork Diaries, and, yes, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. GASP. I know. But, to tell you the truth, the writing and illustrations are much better, and the books don’t make constant middle school boy jokes. Yay! Now, the writing wasn’t outstanding, but I think it’s hard to have an award-winning story when it is mostly told in snippets of writing in between drawings and emails. On the other hand, the pictures were gorgeous, and I’m so jealous of Amy Ignatow’s artistic skill! The pictures really completed the book, and they helped to pace the story along. Julie and Lydia are two cuties, and the author made sure their bond was evident to the reader. I felt that their dialogue and actions were realistic, especially when Lydia was swooning over Julie’s cousin :) Lydia had a bit more development than Julie, but that’s mostly because we met Lydia’s dad. He’s a jerk, and I’m glad that Lydia is close with Julie’s dads. Julie’s second set if grandparents weren’t that nice either. Oh, and I was heartbroken when Papa Dad shaved his beard off! It was like he was an entirely different person. He’s my favorite character, by the way. I laughed out loud when Lydia dyed her hair blue! I don’t think it was meant to be funny, but come on, it was just a little bit, right? The actual road trip was easy to follow, and the added picture of how a certain city looks helped me to follow the route of Julie and Lydia. I enjoyed the tidbits of each city, although the girls didn’t, and I could tell Ignatow did her research. I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but road trips seem to be a recurring theme in middle school and young adult books. Not that I mind, but it’s something I’ve noticed…

Pros: A funny story, fairly good character development, and terrific pictures!

Cons: The writing wasn’t out of this world, but it’s a good choice for reluctant readers.

Heads Up: Eh, nothing too concerning.

Overall: I give it 4 stars {****} and I recommend it for ages 10 and up.

Bella :)

* Just wanted to add that I got a glimpse of the 2012 fall Vera Bradley bags in person today! They are so pretty, and I can’t wait for the release. More to come!
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