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Book Review: Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski

Gimme a Call Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had read about 20 pages of this book, when my 12yo daughter noticed I was reading it. She asked what it was about, so I explained the concept - a girl in her senior year of high school breaks up with her boyfriend, so she's at a mall to return a gift she had gotten for him. She accidentally drops her cell phone in a mall fountain, and the ensuing technological malfunction leaves her only able to call or text one person - her 14-year-old self back in Freshman year. Devi-Sr proceeds to give Devi-"Frosh" all the advice she wishes she could have had when she was younger - which changes her present-day life immediately, with varying success rates.

With this description of the book concept, my daughter yanked the book from my hands, and I didn't see it again for a week. Then she gave it back and demanded I "hurry up" and finish it, so we could talk about the ending.

I LOVE the concept for this book. So often we wish we could give advice to our younger selves. "If I had only known then, what I know now...." I love the idea of making it contemporary with cell phones and texting. A book like this helps feed my author brain, for figuring out innovative book concepts - start out with something many people wish they could do, then figure out some wish or snafu that will allow that to happen. Very interesting.

I loved the author's twists and turns - great pacing. It didn't really feel like a young adult book for me - it was still a good read as an adult. It was definitely chick-lit-y, in that there was quite a bit of introspection and second-guessing, but I felt like it all lead to the development of the characters. And I thought it was interesting how the author was able to develop the two Devi's into unique characters, even through they were technically the same person. I was very pleased with the amount of growth and strength of personal integrity, particularly in the younger Devi, which I wouldn't have predicted.

The ending wrapped up nicely, with some great building toward the end with the cell phone battery running out of charge. Great pacing.

Nothing questionable in the content (no swearing, sex, or drugs), so this is suitable for late pre-teens through adult.

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