Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley

Genre: social issues, mystery
Series and Book #: none
Pages: 321

Four little words written in lipstick mean Emily must say goodbye to everything she knows.

One minute, Emily Carson is dancing on her kitchen counter at an end-of-school party. The next, she’s staring at the news, witnessing the wreckage of a plane crash—the plane her parents were on. Her mother’s last words are scrawled in lipstick on a tray table: EMILY PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

Now it’s fall in New York City, and Emily is desperate to leave tragedy behind. It helps that Darlington High’s swim team champion has his irresistible green eyes on her. And then there’s her quirky chemistry partner slash baker-by-night, Anthony, with his classroom jests, delicious frosted donuts and firm just-friends status.

But Emily is still haunted by her mother’s mysterious apology. She must find out what it means. Only then can she choose between the two boys in her life: the one who makes her forget, or the one who helps her remember, and ultimately, heal.


I first heard about Jennifer's novels when I found the novel Crush Control. It sounded very interesting (a girl who hypnotizes a boy to fall in love with her? Count me in!) When I went to my local library, looking for great summer reads, and spotted this, there was no question in me ripping the book from the shelves. I didn't get into the book right away. I didn't even get into the book halfway through reading it and I was hoping so much that it picked up. Then I talked to a friend of mine who had read it, and she said that it did get better towards the end. And it did! YAY!

After Emily's parents died, she was a very monotone character. Her thoughts always wrapped around the same things, "What am I doing here?" "What did Mom mean?" "I'm not going to fit in." She was a devastated mess. But when she meets Andi and Lindsey, there's not doubt that she perks up. And when Owen, the captain of the swim team and Mr. Popular himself shows interest in her, then she starts to forget her Mom's apology and worry about her life now. Also Anthony perked her up a bit...when he wasn't reminding her that her parents are dead and gone and that she should really find out what that apology means. I liked Anthony. He was very sarcastic, witty, and intelligent, seeing people for who they were rather than what they looked like. But Emily and him disagreed on many things, like Owen. And when he keeps prying Emily to continue her search for her mother's apology, she fittingly kicks him out in an angry rage. But things get better and that had to be my favorite part of the whole book, when Anthony and Emily make up.

Overall, I liked this book, but more towards the end. I thought Jennifer's characterizations were good. She did a great job of showing us their true colors, whether it was right away or more towards the end of the story. Her description of New York was very detailed as well, naming streets, specific trains, and mentioning shops, cobblestone streets, and other minor details. I can't wait to read Crush Control.

The Cover: I like the colors and the New York skyline, but I don't see how it really connects with the book. It's cute.

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