Thursday, January 14, 2021

Blog Tour and Review: Girl on the Ferris Wheel by Julie Halpern & Len Vlahos


Girl on the Ferris Wheel
Julie Halpern, Len Vlahos
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: January 12th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

In Girl on the Ferris Wheel, Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos expertly tackle this quirky and poignant romance that explores what first love really means—and how it sometimes hurts like hell.

Tenth graders Eliana and Dmitri could not be more different. He’s an outgoing, self-confident drummer in a punk band called Unexpected Turbulence. Eliana is introspective and thoughtful, and a movie buff who is living with depression.

Dmitri quite literally falls for Eliana when he sees her in gym class and slams into a classmate. The pair then navigate the ins and outs of first love. Exciting, scary, unexpected, and so much more difficult than they ever imagined. They say opposites attract, but they soon realize that there is so much they just don’t understand about each other. It begs the question: How long can first love possibly last when you’re so different?

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My Review: 

As a parent of a teenager, I felt that this book does a pretty good job at portraying today's teens. As a person who suffers from depression, and has done so since a very young age, I thought that the subject was handled well in the book. 

There were moments that I utterly loved the book. I had some laugh out loud moments that I shared with my family, who don't always want to hear me read to them but they tolerate it. Having been a substitute teacher, the moment he wonders if he has applied enough Axe body spray had me reliving moments in the classroom when I thought I would suffocate from all the Axe body spray being used to cover up sweaty boy body odor after gym class. To some, it might not be the funniest line in the book, but it had me absolutely rolling. 

The characters are interesting. I enjoyed reading both of their POVs, though occasionally she got on my nerves a bit with her self-doubt. I can relate to her pretty well though, as she reminds me a bit of myself at that age. I found Dmitri to be a sweet boy that really tries in the relationship. I was rooting for them and their young love.

I enjoyed the writing and the story. I am giving it three stars because, while I finished the book and liked the characters, I wasn't totally engrossed in the story. I easily lay it down to do other things. I felt that the story sometimes felt suitable for YA readers, but more often felt like it was written for younger readers, though with some topics that might not be for the young ones. I was hoping for something more. I am not sure what exactly, but it just didn't exactly deliver. I would definitely recommend this book to people if they asked for a decent young adult story, but I wouldn't call up all my friends and gush about it if that makes sense. 

Author Bio:





Julie Halpern is the award-winning author of seven young adult novels, one novel for adults, and one picture book for young readers. In her imaginary spare time she enjoys traveling, making cosplay for her kids, and eating baked goods. Julie lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Caldecott-winning author and illustrator Matthew Cordell, and their two children.

Len Vlahos dropped out of NYU film school in the mid ’80s to play guitar and write songs for Woofing Cookies, a punk-pop four piece that toured up and down the East Coast, and had two singles and one full-length LP on Midnight Records. After the band broke up, he followed his other passion, books. He is the author of The Scar Boys, a William C. Morris Award finalist and a #1 Indie Next pick, and Scar Girl, the book’s sequel. Len lives in Denver with his wife and two young sons, where he owns the Tattered Cover Book Store.


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