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Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Twins on Thursday: Advantage Erin by Kris Kreisman

"The Twins on Thursday" is reserved for the Twins' joint reviews. It is a special feature of our blog that discusses books that we either both like, dislike, or have mixed feelings about. This is also the day where we post reviews for books (and ARCs/Galleys) that have been sent to us by authors/galley sites/publishing houses. And because we don't believe much in uniformity, we'll be trying to mix things up a bit by adding random stuff in relation to our review (well, mostly for books we purchased anyway).

Title: Advantage Erin
Author: Kris Kreisman
Format Acquired: PDF
Publication Date: August 22, 2012
Publishing House: N/A
Source of Copy: Sent for review by author


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 be 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 Internet 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.

 (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Erin doesn't get along with her mom; they fight constantly over things like tennis, going to movies and even over a pair of boots. So when Spring break arrives and they're off to visit Grandma, Erin's obviously happy about it because Grandma's cool and helps her deal with her frustrations. But this Spring break is different because Grandma's solution to Erin's problems? A trip back to the 1970's, destination Mom's old school.

Erin is not a bad protagonist - maybe just slightly dim-witted. She is obviously someone who doesn't know how to prioritize and pays too much attention to being seen as cool and popular. She complained a lot about how busy she was and how she lacked a social life - understandable since she is a teenager - but she didn't have to get in a snit about it. We don't think that missing a trip to the cinema with friends this one time will ruin a reputation, and whining about it just seemed silly. Another thing about Erin is how she constantly says that she's merely tolerating Sunshine aka Sonny - an outcast in school - and being nice to him will ruin her social standing - which is obviously more important than common decency. We get that the adolescent period is the time to find yourself and establish who you are, but that isn't a good enough excuse for someone like Erin to get away with it. 

We were caught by surprise, however, when we found out that Kreisman turned out to be a male author (Yes, we stalked his website.). He actually did some justice in embodying a bratty teenage girl - and yes, we think that he did a good job on that front.

The most inconsistent in the book would be its logic, like how time travel supposedly had this magical power to morph your clothes into whatever generation you were in, or how Erin was transported back in time without even spazzing out. If it were us, you can bet we'd be freaking out like nobody's business because we wouldn't know how to get back home. Another thing is that her grandmother sent Erin back to her mother's high school days using a computer that she donated to the school library. How is it that nobody else has found it possible to time travel as well? And whatever happened to grandma's computer that Erin supposedly found in the house? What was its actual significance to the story?

Other aspects that were unclear to us included our confusion as to why Erin had to beat her mom in tennis in the first place. Was she trying to prove something? If she beat her mom in a game, would it supposedly have changed the course of her life? We're kind of scratching our heads trying to figure that out. Another aspect we didn't like was how Erin, in the 70s, basically told Sonny's dad not to name his son Sunshine. Because of her meddling, Erin found a jerk named Aaron when she got back to the modern era. Whatever happened to embracing everyone's freak flag? Sonny liked old music, but does that mean that Erin had to go about telling his dad to change his future son's name just to be popular in high school? Sorry, Erin, but we're pretty sure that you can't go around telling people what not to name their kid. Now instead of a nice, harmless boy who has actually good taste in music, you get a meathead jock - nice job, Erin. The ending made us raise our eyebrows as well. Why would Erin's future kid bother to go back in time to challenge her to a game of tennis? Had she become a tennis freak in the future like her mom was?

Advantage Erin is far from perfect at this point, and may need some revisions. There were awkward sentences in the book, improper usage of punctuation marks, as well as discrepancies with the flow of logic. Nevertheless, this novel is easy to read and follow, and that's a good thing.


1 comment:

  1. *shakes head and walks away* Thanks girls but not for me!