It’s All About Us (All About Us Series, Book 1)
Reviewed by Rachael Stein (age 15) for Reader Views (6/08)
Lissa Mansfield has never had trouble fitting in with the popular crowd until she attends SpencerAcademy, an upscale boarding school in San Francisco. And with a recent breakup with her boyfriend from her previous school, Lissa’s determined to snag the hottest guy at SpencerAcademy, Callum McCloud. But once she does, Callum starts pressuring Lissa to go farther than she wants to in their relationship. Lissa must find strength among her friends, both new and old, within herself, and also from her beliefs in Christianity to resolve her quickly multiplying problems.
When I first picked up “It’s All About Us,” I did not expect it to have a religious twist. I thought it would be another overdramatized story about a bad teen scene similar to “Gossip Girl,” but I was very wrong, and that was definitely a relief. “It’s All About Us” is about a girl struggling between following her beliefs or sacrificing them for popularity. I thought that Lissa’s struggles were very realistic, and I found it very easy to relate to her even though her situation is completely different from mine. After all, everybody slips up sometimes and has to find a way to fix what they’ve done wrong. Though I did get a general idea of most the minor characters, they were not particularly developed, which I was mildly disappointed in. However, Lissa’s wonderfully-developed character more than made up for the lack of characterization otherwise.
I enjoyed Adina’s writing style, even though the name-dropping did get annoying sometimes. The plot was never too high action, but it did turn a little scandalous at times, although it was nothing more than rumors, which was as exciting as it got. I was glad that “It’s All About Us” didn’t somehow morph into a “Gossip Girl” style novel, because that would’ve ruined the message. Also, I liked how Adina didn’t make all the characters into spoiled and unsupervised rich brats who like to mess around with drugs, alcohol, and members of the opposite sex all the time. It gave Adina’s characters more credibility in my opinion.
“It’s All About Us” appeals particularly to teen girls, though I’m sure older readers will still enjoy this novel. You don’t need to be a believe in Christianity to enjoy this book; “It’s All About Us” doesn’t necessarily promote Christianity, but a message to follow your principles.
Adina successfully incorporated a great message into an enjoyable story. I most definitely recommend “It’s All About Us,” by Shelley Adina, because of its fun characters and the sincere meaning behind the story.