Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando
When Jane's grandfather, a man she's never met, passes away and gives his house to his two grandkids (Jane and her older brother, Marcus), Jane's family moves to Coney Island - a town of amusement parks, ghosts of what used to be, and an unusual tourist place in New York.
Upon arrival there, Jane and her family kept saying, "It's just for one year. Just for one year." After meeting some of the Coney Islanders and going to school with a variety of classmates, Jane starts to connect with people and places throughout the amusement park.
Jane's mom was raised on Coney Island during the prime of it's life - where she was part of the "carny" family, but ran away to have a normal life. Jane is finding clues of her mother's life since she passed away when Jane was 6 years old.
Another thing at her new home that Jane is getting used to is the variations of people at school. There are midgets, giants, tattooed students, and normal high school students. Jane is unsure where she fits in and what clubs to join, even though she's curious about the Dreamland Social Club that is very mysterious at school.
With a new official in town talking about remaking the amusement parks of Coney Island, there are rough times between Jane and her new obtained friends - her dad wants to be a park of Loki's group whereas her friends don't want Coney Island to change with Loki's plans.
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know before hand that there was a place called Coney Island until I read the Author's Notes at the end of the book, so it was interesting to find out that some of the rides actually do/did exist.
And Leo. I loved Leo! Beautiful tattooed boy and Jane's attraction to one another was not very obvious (well on Leo's side that is) but Leo was the mysterious boy who would talk and sometimes hangout with Jane, but never talk about what he was feeling.
The awkwardness and confusion that Jane felt when she got to Coney Island is what every new student feels. That's how I felt, anyway, so I think this could be very relatable.
The part about living practically on a tourist site? Might not be as relatable.
I think teens would like this story - even guys despite the fact that there isn't a guy narrator. Who wouldn't want to read about living and roaming through an amusement park?