Tommy Sullivan is a Freak by Meg Cabot

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Tommy Sullivan is a Freak by Meg Cabot

Category: Teens
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A self-obsessed girl can't decide between 3 boys in this teenage tale which has very little in the way of story development.
Buy? No Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 256 Date: April 2008
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1405089838

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Here are some of the good things about this book: it has a swish pink and silver cover. It comes with a wrap around cover for the cover, which has furry black writing on, and is fun to stroke. The main character, Katie, is captured perfectly, and you couldn't argue that she wasn't a realistic character. Finally, she takes part in a beauty pageant in the book – and I love stories about beauty pageants, even if they do have dubious names like Quahog Princess.

Here are some of the less good things about this book: it has very little in the way of a proper story, and the whole gist of it is really summed up in the title. I read and read, getting through a couple of hundred pages, only to realise at the end that the whole conclusion of the story was something I knew the second I picked up the book. Also, while Katie may be your typical American teen, the situations she finds herself in are not. It doesn't go anywhere, say anything or even entertain all that much.It is not a dreadful book, because even a bad Meg Cabot book is still readable, but it is by no means good, or one I'd recommend you rush out to buy.

The thing I found most interesting about the story was the way I was much more interested in what was going on around the edges, than what I was supposed to be focussing on. Katie was a bit of a boring girl, but Tommy seemed like a great character who I would have loved to have known more about. While the story was really focussed on what had happened in the past, I thought it was over-hyped – Katie goes on and on about it like a child who has just learnt the art of secret keeping. She reveals small snippets of what happened here and there, and then finally comes out and explains it right at the end causing a complete anti-climax, as she's mentioned it to death by that point. Ditto the whole issue of Quahogs – the name for both the local delicacy and the members of a school sports team. Every page talks about one or both of these namesakes from the way tourists in this coastal town can't pronounce the name to why everyone loves them. Imagine the hilarity as people continually confuse the men with the molluscs, even in their pageant answers. Or, actually, don't. It's not funny. It's not interesting. But unfortunately it's on every page.

Katie's main problem in the book is that she has a boyfriend and not one but two boys on the side. In some books you could imagine this would give rise to great moral debates about monogamy, or at least the dangers of teenagers fooling round with multiple partners, but this book takes neither of those approaches. Katie is popular and smart and if she needs to kiss other boys to get over the fact that her perfect boyfriend is a big dull dud, well that's ok, end of story. There are lots of other areas the books starts but doesn't follow through on either, like the compulsive lying of a certain someone, or the plans for a colossal beating up of a certain someone else which gradually stop being mentioned, with the event never happening. At the end there were more than a few loose ends, but I was losing interest by that point and glad to be able to stop reading.

I find Meg Cabot books really hit and miss. Some, like the The Boy Next Door, I absolutely love. Others, like Size 14 Is Not Fat just get annoying after a few chapters, and Tommy Sullivan fits into this latter category.

There is probably a very specific target audience for this book. Say, middle class high school students who have multiple boyfriends and like to obsess about them to their friends while using Vicky Pollard style language? I don't think this is one which will appeal to most of Cabot's young fans though, and really I found it quite disappointing.

You can also get an audio book version of this title. Somehow, I can't imagine anything I'd like less – if I want to hear teenage girls going on and on and on about boys they maybe do and maybe don't want to kiss, I can just go and hang out in the changing rooms of Primark.

Thanks to the publishers for supplying this book. For a better teen read with fitter boys and fewer clams, check out one of the great titles by Kate Cann

Buy Tommy Sullivan is a Freak by Meg Cabot at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tommy Sullivan is a Freak by Meg Cabot at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Tommy Sullivan is a Freak by Meg Cabot at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tommy Sullivan is a Freak by Meg Cabot at Amazon.com.


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