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Kid Konnection: Three Quarters Dead

June 18, 2011

Kerry starts her first year at prestigious Pondfield High School feeling all alone since her best friend has gone off to boarding school.  She feels invisible, so she’s beyond excited when the three most popular girls in the school start paying her, a lowly sophomore, some attention.  She wants to fit in with them and decides to do whatever it takes to do so.  But just how much will it take?  How far is she willing to go?

As I started Three Quarters Dead, by Richard Peck, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.  I was rooting for Kerry and I was hoping she would learn to stand up for herself and not succumb to peer pressure.  I felt for Kerry because I know it can be hard to find your place in high school – especially one as competitive as Pondfield.

The first time the popular girls test Kerry’s loyalty, things backfire and they leave her in the lurch.  She thinks it will end their relationship but, of course, they welcome her back into the fold because they need her loyalty.

Something happened about a quarter of the way through the book that totally changed it’s focus and tone and it didn’t really work for me.  It took on a paranormal aspect and I found some of it confusing.  I know paranormal is popular with teens, but I didn’t understand some of the plot when the book went in that direction.  I don’t normally read paranormal, but since this book was written by none other than Richard Peck, I decided to give it a try and I found it to be just okay.  I liked that this book took on peer pressure and showed how it causes some kids to do things they aren’t comfortable with, but the story was just a little too strange for me.  Hopefully it will appeal to the target audience more than it did me.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
14 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2011 5:48 am

    I hate that old dog “peer pressure.” Maybe one day it will go out of style. I would like to read this one. I like your review.

  2. June 18, 2011 6:11 am

    A few of my followers expressed interest in children’s book reviews. I’ll have to direct them this way because I don’t post any at Reading Has Purpose.

    I did however interview a couple of childrens book authors for anyone that’s interested.

    Interview : Jacquitta A McManus

    Interview: Sybil Nelson

  3. kaye permalink
    June 18, 2011 7:58 am

    I’m kind of baffled as to why paranormal IS so popular. It seems all YA books have some kind of paranormal bent to them. It’s too bad the book veered off in a direction that didn’t grab your interest.

  4. Veens permalink
    June 18, 2011 8:11 am

    I think I will totally like this one because I like paranormal stories…..

  5. June 18, 2011 8:47 am

    Meh, I am not a big YA PNR fan, it just never works for me that well in the end

  6. June 18, 2011 9:09 am

    Definitely it seems like even when books would be just fine without the paranormal addition, the authors throw it in. Actually one author told me she was pressured to do so by her agent.

  7. June 18, 2011 10:12 am

    How weird that the book shifted gears like that with no explanation! It sounds like the parts that did gel with you were excellent and made you think, but the parts that dealt with the paranormal stuff was a little confusing. It’s too bad that the whole book didn’t target on one focus. Great review, Kathy! I think my kids might like this one!

  8. June 18, 2011 4:58 pm

    I get bugged when paranormal elements enter a story when I don’t expect it to. I’m glad the first half was great though.

  9. June 18, 2011 7:43 pm

    It sounds some what interesting. I might give it a try.

  10. June 19, 2011 4:23 am

    Paranormal is alright with me, but it’s annoying when the story seems to take a completely new direction.
    The book seems interesting though.

  11. June 19, 2011 9:36 am

    Paranormal is HUGE! It carries an element of magical surrealism hence it’s so widely popular.
    Some of the hugely popular books now center on teens and paranormals in their lives: case in point TWILIGHT series and Vampire Academy books. Now the next question I have … is this one centered on zombies???

  12. June 20, 2011 12:45 am

    I might actually like this. I’m big on paranormal!

  13. June 20, 2011 2:08 pm

    I’ve had this book since last year’s BEA and I don’t know if it’s my thing….

  14. June 20, 2011 5:53 pm

    Sorry to hear it started out great and had a lot of promise but then ended up not delivering.

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