Zondervan (May 1, 2008)
Whether you are fashion challenged or a high designer IQ and a tweener to an adult who enjoys good books with a lighthearted story you’ll love this new series from Ms. Carlson. DJ’s grandmother belonged to the world of the fashion elite as the editor of a major magazine in the field. While Ms. Carlson is writing this series for teens it can appeal to and be enjoyed by a variety of ages including adults. I loved reading about DJ and her housemates teenage foibles of learning about one another, discovering that friends from past years have changed and how to navigate those relationships in light of the changes and above all that although looks aren’t everything impressions are still important in some situations.
While this is a lighthearted look at a variety of challenges teens face, the subject matter and content is appropriate for younger readers and the story is deep enough to appeal to even adult readers. Carlson presents a number of concepts to readers through the experiences of DJ, Taylor, Eliza, Kriti, Rhiannon and Casey and their attempts to get along (well in most cases anyway). It seems in most circles of acquaintance there ends up being at least one person who makes themself feel better by making others miserable and Carter House is no exception. Many of the situations and circumstances these girls face nearly anyone can relate to and especially teens and tweeners who are likely faced or soon to be faced by many of the decisions these girls encounter. Will all the girls survive Ms. Carter’s school of etiquette with its strict rules and expectations? Will DJ manage to maintain her independent sense of self and style despite her grandmother and peer pressure or will she sell out and compromise who she is? >(ISBN#9780310714880, 224 pp, $9.99)