Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gamma Glamma

Who else really misses The Edge of the Forest?

Seems it has gone away, I'm reposting the reviews that were originally published over there. Now, what I'm posting is what I submitted, but the beauty of having an editor is that things got changed. But I don't have a record of how the review originally appeared, so you're just getting my final draft.

Gamma GlammaGamma Glamma Kim Flores

Luz Santos is a scientific genius, but she only tries to use her skills for good—like creating a shampoo that will make your hair grow (ok, that backfired and she had to give herself a haircut between periods) or cupcake frosting that will make everyone happy and agreeable (ok, it also gave them some serious gas.)

Her freshman year at Gamma High (Dallas’s ultimate magnet school) is going pretty well until she’s forced to enter the science fair. Normally, being asked to do such a project would be Luz’s dream, but the regional competition is the same day as Homecoming, and there’s no way she would be back in time for the dance. Her only solution is to come up with a project that’s so insane, there’s no way it would win. Project Gamma Glamma would take three regular students and use science (jelly beans that make you tan, bubble gum that helps your conversational skills, and specially formulated perfume) as well as more conventional make-overs to boost their popularity. Results would be based on homecoming court elections. Dr. Hamrock, however, finds the idea intriguing and Luz is stuck. To make matters worse, a reality show is recording the homecoming election process and Luz, as well as her subjects, are caught in the middle.

What Luz never counted on was whether or not her friends ever wanted to be popular. She also never counted on the fact that if she catapults her friends into the social stratosphere, that means she’s eating lunch all alone.

Gamma Glamma is laugh-out-loud hilarious and it’s refreshing to see a Latina leading character in a story where ethnicity isn’t a plot point. It’s also great to see a super-smart science queen be cool and not the uber-dork. Luz has friends, style, and a brain and knows how to put all three together. Flores has a good ear for high school drama and reality show flair, as well as crazy technology that we can only dream of. She also reminds us to take a deep look on the consequences of what we do—even if experiments do what they were supposed to, that doesn’t make them successful.

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