Sunday, July 5, 2015

The New Lucinda
Grace Gelvin Kisinger,
1958, Thomas Nelson & Sons

Lucinda Taylor is 16, blonde, blue-eyed and tall but as a studious, serious girl, she knows she’s not popular and she feels dull and ignored in her hometown of Exeter.  Reading a magazine article, she finds inspiration in a story about a girl who transforms the way she acts and how others think of her. Cindy wishes she could do this too, but in a town where everyone’s known her since birth, how can she?

So it’s lucky her dad is transferred to Woodmont, a town just far enough away to make Cindy’s makeover doable.  And she pulls it off.  She’s cool, she’s mildly indifferent, she’s unenthusiastic – she’s everything a popular girl should be.  Fighting her inclination to be friendly and engaged with a group of friendly girls, Cindy instead cozies up to Rose Walsh, a sleek and predatory girl, and falls wildly in infatuation with Malcolm “Mack” Gordon. But are these people, who Lucinda’s identified as the most popular kids at Woodmont, really all that desirable?

I’m a sucker for a teen novel about trying to remake yourself.  Lucinda’s likeable, the pace is good, and the resolution is satisfying.  One major flaw – Lucinda’s identification of Rose and Mack as popular kids is never seriously discussed.  Rose, in particular, seems less popular than infamous.  Is Lucinda’s perception accurate?

il. Barbara Fox (cover)

1958, Scholastic Book Services


Author’s other books
The Enchanted Summer (1956)
More Than Glamour (1958)
Bittersweet Autumn (1960)
Too Late Tomorrow (1962)

Kirkus review of The New Lucinda
A blog with a review of More Than Glamour
Kirkus review of The Enchanted Summer
Kirkus review of More Than Glamour
Kirkus review of Bittersweet Autumn

Kirkus review of Too Late Tomorrow