November 16, 2008
By Anonymous

Being a thirteen year old girl and growing up today in a small town in New Jersey, I can easily relate to twelve year old Annemarie who grows up in the small town of Clementon, Alabama. Annemarie, also nicknamed Shug, is the main character in the book Shug written by Jenny Han. This easy-read is a sweet story about a girl who struggles with everyday situations, but learns how to accomplish them all. The author's voice is very impressive (being that it is her first book); it seems as if she was the same age as the kids in the story and makes everyone understand Annemarie's side of the problem. It is really interesting and you are rooting for the main character the whole way through the book!
It starts off, when Annemarie suddenly has a crush on her best friend, Mark, that she has known since kindergarten. She wants some advice. You learn that Annemarie also doesn't have the most stable home-her mom always too drunk and selfish to support her family and her dad always being away for business, Annemarie has no one to turn to except her big sister, Celia, who does help her. Although Celia is not home all the time,(because she so pretty and so popular) her and Annemarie do have a good relationship. This is because that is the only other person they each have in the family.
As the story continues, we learn about Annemarie's other best friend Elaine, who is Korean-American and moved to Clementon from New York. Another character is Jack Connely, the boy in school who is mean to Annemarie and makes fun of her. Even though, down deep inside he is really not a mean bully that is how he comes across. Then there is Mairi and Hadley who Annemarie doesn't like in the beginning because they act like they are too good or better than everyone else. As, middle school starts and many things change so does all these people Annemarie has known her whole life!
So the story continues and everyone seems to be getting a lot older and more mature. As all Annemarie's friends and classmates start to change, she is not ready yet. She wants everything to stay like it had before. This is the real task Annemarie had to overcome in this book. The theme would definitely be challenges. These challenges were all the things Annemarie had to go through as everything flew past her and things changed so quickly. These challenges include her new school and old friends that altered so suddenly!
This book is categorized in young adult fiction because although this story is made up, I think this storyline happens quite often in real life. Jenny Han must have had inspiration for this great, classic, yet exciting tale, from being a TV fanatic and truly being a child at heart. For example, her favorite shows when she was younger and still today would be the Wonder Years where the characters were around ages 12-14. She also still loves baking cupcakes, dreaming of staying in fancy hotels, and being an ice cream taste tester one day. These things are proof of how she pulls off really writing as if she were Annemarie.
So in conclusion, there was not much I didn't really like about Shug. Overall, I thought it was really cute and had something about it that every girl could relate too. It is a wonderful story because it had the perfect ending! It surprised me even though I had a guess that result would occur. I owe this to the author's technique of adding up the suspense. It really keeps you reading! I know it did that for me and I hope it will for you because it truly is something to enjoy!

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