Book Reviews

I So Don’t Do Makeup by Barrie Summy

7 of 10: This wasn’t my favorite book, but it was amusing enough and if I was a middle school librarian, I certainly would be buying the whole series.

Here’s the problem with middle-schoolers – they are both delightful and also annoying as can be. A book with a realistic middle school heroine is going to struggle with that same problem. And, yes, this one did.

This is the third book in a pre-teen mystery series starring Sherry Holmes Baldwin. Her mother, a detective, was killed a year or so earlier and now is a ghost detective, and the two of them work together to solve mysteries.

In the first book, Sherry discovers her mother is a ghost and all the rules that govern the ghosty lifestyle, so that’s not explained in great detail in this one (which, frankly, makes me want to go back and read the first one).

In this installment, Sherry has a sleepover where she and her friends try out some new makeup which they have some serious reactions to the next morning. When they return it to the mall kiosk with the news that it had such an adverse effect, they learn that several people have returned their makeup reporting pain and suffering.

Sherry is convinced that someone is out to sabatoge the kiosk (which is new and so far very successful), and she’s determined to figure out who did it, even though the ghost patrol keeps telling her to lay off (her mom is up for some international position, and they are determined that Sherry not goof it up for her).

I’m honest enough to know that while this book didn’t thrill me as an adult, I would have almost certainly loved it as a pre-teen. It’s like Nancy Drew meets Sweet Valley Twins (oh yes, I loved those Sweet Valley books as a kid).

Advance Reader Copy received from Blue Slip Media

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  • Reply Packrat May 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks for the review. I've never heard of this series.

    Do you think this book would be suitable for advanced readers as young as 4th grade?

  • Reply Kimberly May 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    So did I (love the Sweet Valley books) and so do I (get annoyed with realistic middle grade heroines). Of course, that's the problem with really good realistic YA stuff too, sometimes I just want to yell, "get over it and just say what's really bothering you! It will get a lot easier since no one can read your mind." But then, isn't that part of being a teenager?

  • Reply Saskia May 28, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Oh, mentioning those Sweet Valley books really brings back memories! We only had a couple at home and I must have read them a dozen times each.

  • Reply Landen May 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Haha! Sweet Valley books! I was thinking about how much I liked those just the other day! Sort of ridiculous, but in a fun way:)

  • Reply Barrie June 4, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Janssen (love your name), thank you so much for the review!

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