Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for having me as a part of the official blog tour for Girl on the Ferris Wheel by Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos.
In Girl on the Ferris Wheel, Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos expertly tackle this quirky and poignant romance that explores what first love really means—and how it sometimes hurts like hell.
Tenth graders Eliana and Dmitri could not be more different. He’s an outgoing, self-confident drummer in a punk band called Unexpected Turbulence. Eliana is introspective and thoughtful, and a movie buff who is living with depression.
Dmitri quite literally falls for Eliana when he sees her in gym class and slams into a classmate. The pair then navigate the ins and outs of first love. Exciting, scary, unexpected, and so much more difficult than they ever imagined. They say opposites attract, but they soon realize that there is so much they just don’t understand about each other. It begs the question: How long can first love possibly last when you’re so different?
Julie Halpern is the award-winning author of seven young adult novels, one novel for adults, and one picture book for young readers. In her imaginary spare time she enjoys traveling, making cosplay for her kids, and eating baked goods. Julie lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Caldecott-winning author and illustrator Matthew Cordell, and their two children.
Len Vlahos dropped out of NYU film school in the mid ’80s to play guitar and write songs for Woofing Cookies, a punk-pop four piece that toured up and down the East Coast, and had two singles and one full-length LP on Midnight Records. After the band broke up, he followed his other passion, books. He is the author of The Scar Boys, a William C. Morris Award finalist and a #1 Indie Next pick, and Scar Girl, the book’s sequel. Len lives in Denver with his wife and two young sons, where he owns the Tattered Cover Book Store.
Depression sucks. The symptoms may vary from person to person but no matter what, the sadness that it causes is just no fun. Being a teenager is also really tough. Navigating high school and hormones is always a bumpy ride. These two difficult topics collide in Girl on the Ferris Wheel by Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos.
Eliana is depressed. She’s a sad teenager with little self-esteem. Dmitri is not depressed but he has his own issues living in a culturally-focused family and dealing with their many expectations. The combination of the two characters is intriguing. Eliana loves Harry Potter. Dmitri love punk rock. The two are so different and their teenage communication skills are so untrained that the development of their relationship makes for an interesting book which on many occasions might even make you smile. (Fans of Harry Potter will especially love Eliana’s references to the series!)
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for older middle grade readers and younger young adult readers. The writing skews a little younger and I think that the audience should reflect that. Overall, the book is a quick read that I enjoyed and would recommend for younger YA readers.
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