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Read reviews on a great book for teens

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Attitude Girl by Mila Bernadkin

The Attitude Girl by Mila Bernadkin 

Review by Melissa j

Teenagers live in a tough world. It becomes even more tough when things like cancer, suicide, and family drama enters that world. It's not wonder adolescents walk around with attitude problems.

The Attitude Girl models what could more than likely be a journal entry, for today's modern teen girl. Teens will enjoy the book, feeling validated in their world of chaos and confusing situations.

At times, dialogue becomes a bit confusing to track with and Ialso  lost track of who was who (alot of names are thrown around), but overall, this book epitomizes the teen world and thought process. Mila adds the inner monologue going on in Vicky's head while she dialogues verbally with her friends, neighbors, and family, showing the ambivalence that teens find as a part of their usual inner conflict.

This is a coming of age novel, and although Vicky does not arrive at full maturity by the end, we see a progression towards adulthood that each of us had to go through. From ego-centrism to sacrifice. From attitude-out-of-control, to attitude-properly-channeled. 

* Note: More conservative readers will not like this book, as it contains language that they may not approve of, as well as sexual situations and discussions. While for me, a woman who has worked extensively with teens, I found it only a realistic portrayal of the teen life, those who practice only conservative, Christian-based novels in their home, this book would not be for them.

Mel's Thoughts:

The Attitude Girl, by Mila Bernadkin, is a coming of age novel for teen girls.  From the very beginning of the book, I could tell that the main character, Vicky, definitely has an attitude.  Honestly, though, she had good reason to have an attitude, in my opinion.  With everything she had been through in her life, as well as issues and problems that were going on presently, this teen was going through some pretty hard times.  From being abandoned by her father as a child to now dealing with the fact that her mother had lost her job and might have cancer on top of it all, plus the fact that her grandparents who rejected her before now want her in their lives, she had real issues.  These are issues that a lot of our teens face today. 

Vicky had a tight group of friends, though, Jackie, Liza, Chloe, and Alex.  The book focused on this group of friendships quite a bit throughout the story.  I was a little concerned at some of the things they did throughout the story, but to me, it was more like the author was trying to tackle major issues that teens face today.  The girls had to deal with issues such as drinking, sex, mean girls (bullying), suicide, and just growing up, among other things.  I really appreciated the scenes centered around bullying myself, because I know that so many kids are affected by this today, myself included when I was younger.  So many kids are depressed and trying to hurt themselves because of bullies at school.  I thought that the author handled these issues in a realistic way. 

Yes, Vicky had an attitude, and it might have even caused rifts that had to be mended, but she was as real as a character could be.  Her emotions were raw and really caused the story to be more thought-provoking for me.  Written in first person, Vicky takes you through her thoughts and into her heart, and you're really able to delve into her character.  I did have a couple of qualms with the book.  If you are more conservative, this book might pose a problem, as one issue is that there's the use of swear words throughout the book, especially in the first part.  There are also scenes in the book that might not set well with more conservative readers, although without those scenes, the story might not be as real.  Does the story solve today's issues with teens?  No, but it does confront them head-on, albeit, in a less conservative way.

You can get The Attitude Girl for $16.95 from Five Star Publications.  The following is from the Media Kit for The Attitude Girl


In her debut novel, a first-place winner in the Arizona Authors Association Annual Literary Awards contest, Ludmila "Mila" Bernadkin draws on her experience as a teacher, mother and advanced graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature to identify with the tremulous world of confusing emotions and mixed messages of "maturity" today's teens live in as they feel their way through the process of becoming young adults.

Born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine, a beautiful resort city on the Black Sea, Bernadkin emigrated from the former Soviet Union and came to the United States in 1977. She graduated from the Brest Music College with a BA-equivalent degree in theory of music and music literature, and accepted a teaching position at a children's music school. After moving to the States, she became a Senior Programmer-Analyst, working at several of the largest financial institutions in New York City. However, medical reasons forced her early retirement, which turned out to be a blessing as she realized her life-long dream of becoming an award-winning published writer.

Bernadkin resides in Brooklyn, New York, with her daughter, a graduate student who is working on her Master's degree. Bernadkin loves to travel, listen to music and read.

(Disclosure: This book was provided, free of charge, by Mila Bernadkin/Five Star Publications, in association with MamaBuzz.)


Mel ~ November 30, 2009 at 8:44 PM  


Lisa @ Simplified Saving November 30, 2009 at 9:20 PM  


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