Saturday, 27 October 2012

Review: Advantage Erin by Kris Kreisman

Erin's mom is driving her crazy. Especially about tennis. Erin is good and enjoys the game. But it's not her fault she's not the megastar her mom claims to have been when she was Erin's age. If only there was some way to get Mom to understand...
Spring break arrives, which means a visit to Grandma and Mom's old hometown. Grandma is eccentric, but she's also cool and understands Erin's frustrations. And she can help. By taking Erin on a visit to Mom's old high school. Not Mom's school today. But Mom's school as it was in 1970.
Erin experiences the trip of her lifetime. Back in time, where she struggles to fit in with a bunch of kids who never heard of the Internt or laptops or cell phones. Where she meets some very cool kids. And one not so cool kid named Catherine. Now known as Mom.
Talk turns to tennis, and inevitably the challenge is made and accepted. And they play the tennis match of the century. Erin had repeatedly heard how Mom was undefeated. Now was her time to do something about it. They battle hard until, in unexpected fashion, it's over. But when she returns to the present Erin learns the truth about her Mom. And Mom learns some lessons as well.
Enjoy Erin's thrill ride, her fun, her excitement, her anxiety. And discover how her trip to the past changed her present.

Erin is a typical teenager, rebelling against her mom - particularly about the subject of tennis. However, her whole perspective is changed when she goes back in time to the year 1970, and plays an epic tennis match against her teenage mom.

Advantage Erin is short and sweet, and I liked that. No complicated or messy plot twists, no loose strings left hanging. I loved the characters in this book, especially Erin. She's likeable and easy to relate to, especially for teenagers. She has talent, but she's independent enough that she doesn't want it forced upon her by her mom. 

Another great character is Sonny, a.k.a. Sunshine. He's really into the '60s, and wears brightly coloured and flamboyant clothing. This gains him a lot of teasing and unpopularity, but he doesn't care. He also really likes Erin, since she's the only kid in school who's nice to him. Sonny isn't afraid to show people who he is, and that I feel is really important.

When Erin's grandma takes her back into the past, I was really intrigued to see what the kids were like back then, what they wore, etc. Erin is really confused, but adjusts quite easily. The climax of the book - the tennis match - had me on the edge of my seat. Kris Kreisman writes in a compelling way, and I honestly had no idea who would win.

What I loved most about Advantage Erin were the constant references to music. I enjoy some old music, and was really happy to see them mentioned, either by Sonny or by others. Also, I was ecstatic when I read that Erin loves Avril Lavigne! She's my favourite singer ever, and Erin seemed more real to me after that. Moreover, I've learnt about the Woodstock concert and the Vietnam War in history, so I was interested in reading about that too. I was surprised that no one back in 1970 knew Country Joe and the Fish, because they were definitely mentioned when I was learning about Woodstock. Oh well, I guess they weren't that famous.

I was slightly disappointed in a few parts after Erin comes back from her visit to the past, mostly regarding Sonny. You'll have to read the book to know what I'm talking about! The ending was great, a perfect ending to Advantage Erin. It leaves you thinking about what happens in the future of the book, and I liked that.

Advantage Erin is a fantastic read for a lazy weekend - it's light, it's humourous, it's engaging. Plus, if you're a tennis fan, you'll love it!

Thank you to Kris Kreisman for providing me with a copy to review.

Rating: 3.5/5

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