BOOK REVIEW: Trouble's Brewing by Juli Alexander

Title: Trouble's Brewing (sequel to Stirring Up Trouble)
Author: Alexander, Juli
Published: November 24th, 2012 by Kindle Direct Publishing
Edition Language: English
Source: complimentary e-book from author

From Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Zoe has managed to turn her crush into a boyfriend without using any magic at all. But can it really work with Jake when Zoe’s father is dating Jake’s mother? Talk about a dysfunctional family.  After the Frog Fiasco, the Council is watching Zoe’s every move but studying under renowned Potions Master, Martin Finnegan, fulfills a lifelong dream of Zoe’s, even if the ninety-five-year-old man looks like a teenager. Zoe can’t juggle friends, school, potions, and dating without letting something slide, and Trouble’s Brewing as her tutor is forced to reveal deeply hidden truths about her experiments and those of her ancestors.

Mrs. Beamer's Review:
I really wanted to like this book...I really, really did.  It's the first book I received as a result of my blogging, and I was flattered and excited beyond words.  BUT...I just couldn't get into it.  At first, I thought my struggle to get through the book was related to pre-Christmas "crazies".  Silly me.  We all know nothing...nothing...keeps us away from a book we are dying to read :)  While I'm not saying teens won't enjoy this book...I am saying that I, as an adult, found it lacking in many areas.

What I liked about this book:
The author continues with some of the witty dialect I fell in love with in Stirring Up Trouble.  However, there was less in this book...which is a shame because she has a talent for making me laugh.  Also, I enjoyed Finn.  I thought his mannerisms matched perfectly with his character.  

What I didn't like about this book:
Pretty much everything else :(  I really hate saying that.  I'm hoping there is a book #3...that would change my opinion (slightly).  As no story lines came to a close, I'm keeping my fingers crossed :)  My major disappointment with this book is the lack of excitement in the story of Zoe/Finn/Jake/Milo.  I see SO much potential there!!  Also, the supporting characters (so vividly captured in Stirring Up Trouble) played very little part in Trouble's Brewing.  Tell me more Ms. Alexander!  

While I was disappointed in this book, I feel my teen students will like it for what it is...a fun story.  I look forward to having both books in the library collection, and trust they will circulate well.  

My Favorite Quote (from this book):  "I could identify with the love-sick dogs who'd jumped on Mom because I was ready to lick his cheek and drool all over him."

Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Language: 0
Violence: 0
Sexual Content: 0
Drugs/Alcohol: 0
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: middle school
Potential Controversial Topics: none

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