Monday, December 24, 2012

Lemonade Mouth Puckers Up

Published: November 13th, 2012
Lemonade Mouth Puckers Up (Lemonade Mouth # 2)
By: Mark Peter Hughes
Random House Children's Books
ISBN-13: 9780385737128

Olivia, Wen, Stella, Charlie, and Mo—the members of the legendary band Lemonade Mouth—have been labeled many things. But just how did this little group of misunderstood outcasts end up rocketing from high school nobodies to household names?

In their own words, the band tells the story of the momentous summer when an overworked music promoter, an unwanted visitor from India, and an unexpected reappearance by a figure from Olivia’s past shook their world and launched them on their roller-coaster ride to destiny. There are plenty of false rumors out there, but this is the real story, the continuation of the official history of Rhode Island’s most influential band. Lemonade Mouth is going worldwide and taking no prisoners. The outcome will be nothing short of revolutionary.


     Lemonade Mouth is still riding on the high of what happened at Catch a RI-ZING Star when they start their summer vacation.  They are recording new music and their friendship is stronger than ever.  So of course things immediately start to go wrong.  Wen's Dad quits his job to start a hot dog food truck business and enlists Wen to be a dancing hot dog on street corners - unpaid.  Olivia is contacted by the Mom who abandoned her when she was just a toddler.  Mo's parents force her to be friends with Rajeev, the Indian teenage son of their college friends who is staying with them for the summer, with the obvious hopes of an eventual arranged marriage and Charlie is going through a philosophy crisis.  Oh yeah, and Stella just might be falling in love!  Life is never boring for the band, especially when a famous music producer named Earl Decker reaches out to them and they sign a contract with his record company.  But when the music and the things they believe in begin to fade into the background in favor of corporate greed, it's time for Lemonade Mouth to take a stand again.  Even if it means that they lose their chance at the big time.
     I was hesitant at reading a sequel for a book that I felt didn't really need one.  I was afraid that it was just scheme to make more money, based on the popularity of the Disney Channel movie from the first book.  But once I started, I couldn't put it down!  It is once again started off by Naomi Fishmeier, aspiring reporter and friend to the band, who is assembling the real story of their rise to fame.  It is also in the POV of every member of Lemonade Mouth, with a few other POVs thrown in like some of the parents, Naomi, Larry, a limo driver, and some other contestants on a reality show that they audition for.  I feel like it managed to capture the somewhat magical quality of the first book, but also with some serious realism thrown in.  I especially loved the crack that Olivia makes about like not being a Disney movie when Charlie asks where all the cool clothes and the money went to.  It made me laugh so hard.  The addition of Rajeev was a good one and I liked the tension/balance he provided to the group.  And the pros and cons of being indebted to a corporate mind by contract were definitely represented, especially in the ad campaign that eventually makes them break the contract and quit.  I loved the interactions with Sista Slash, the resolution of Olivia and Wen about whether or not they're dating, and Ray's secret soft spot for animals.  The characters matured a lot through the novel and by the end they had each changed for the better.  The ending was perfect and left the way open for it to really be the end OR for there to be another book, which I think would be perfectly okay with me.  Overall, fans of the original might really like it if they can get past the fact that it came on the heels of the Disney movie.  It is not at all related to it! :)

VERDICT:  4.5/5  Stars

*received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published November 13th, 2012.*

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