To Be Mona by Kelly Easton

mona

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 15 and up

# of Pages: 218

RAC Book: No

Sage Priestly wants to be just like the most popular girl in school, Mona. She wants to be her so bad that she highlights her hair, loses weight on a crash diet, and throws out all of her black clothes and starts wearing pastel colors. The problem is that her mother has undiagnosed bi-polar disorder and cannot be depended on to get a job, buy groceries, or do any motherly duties. Her best friend, Vern, lives next door and tries to take care of her, but does not like the new changes she has made. Despite his efforts to become more than friends, Sage does not want to date him. Worse yet, she decides to date the high school jock who forbids her to see Vern. As Sage tries to deal with her mother spiraling out of control, the abandonment issues of her father, and completely changing her life, she starts to wonder if she really wants to be Mona at all or if she is happy being Sage.

This story has a good message to share with young readers, but takes a slow path to get there. The book has a few characters who do not seem to ever fully develop and one character that uses some very derogatory language which may offend some young readers. The ending is a little abrupt and it is unclear how Sage’s life will continue from this point. Mona’s character is not at all what most readers will expect and is a nice surprise in an otherwise fairly predictable book.

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