Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer

I received this book as a gift from a friend a few years ago because I share a name (minus the spelling) with the title character. I thought it was cute and put it on my shelf to read later. I didn’t even think about this book until the other night I realized I was going to be spending the day in the hospital this week for my mom’s final chemo treatment. Hospital reading is a touchy thing. You want something that will keep you entertained while at the same time something you can easily put down and pick up multiple times. Also with the noise/distraction level of a waiting room, your book really can’t be anything too difficult to read. So I picked up this book and thought I’d finally give her a chance. I finished the book in a single day (a feat for someone who reads as slowly as I do!).

Cindy is an average girl. She is a lot like the main character of just about every other teen girl novel. She’s not ugly, but not pretty. She’s not popular, but she has a few really great friends. She’s smarter than average, but she’s no jeopardy contestant. The book starts when Cindy writes a letter to the editor of her school’s newspaper condemning the “prom mentality” of the school. She quickly becomes even more of an outcast than before. On top of the school drama, Cindy also has to worry about her stepmother and stepsisters who are the definition of LA materialism, a best guy friend she has only ever talked to over the internet, an SAT tutor who may or may not be the man of her dreams, and the most popular senior boy at the school she’s been crushing on for years Adam Silver. Cindy struggles between being herself and changing herself for a boy. I like that Cindy has her own ideals and tries to think for herself even when she’s feeling the negative effects of her activism. The characters can be a little flat in some cases. The stepmother and sisters aren’t evil, just shallow. Cindy’s best friends India and Malcom are each characterized by one thing. Malcom is a gay boy, and India is the hippy girl whose parents own a yoga studio. However, despite their flatness, the characters show true emotion and friendship towards each other. The book is absolutely chock-full of pop culture references from Miley Cyrus to John Hughes movies. But like a good John Hughes movie, you like the heroine, and want everything to turn out happily in the end. The twist is a little predictable, and more than a little improbable, but it is a fairy tale after all. I enjoyed the read. Definitely one of those books to read in a waiting room or on an airplane, but those books are important too! I’d definitely keep it on my shelf and recommend it for girls from junior high to early high school.


  1. Did you ever finish The Alchemist's Daughter? How did that one end up?

  2. it was deadly slow and really more about how women are neglected by their husbands. she was basically being punished for being a bad daughter and choosing her husband's glamorous city life over her father's life of science. but it wasn't well written at all. not recommended.