The best book I have ever read!
A fun read for teens...hard to put down!
Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.com
What happens at your grandma's house, stays at your grandma's house, right? Well, that's what Devon Delaney thought when she spent the summer before seventh grade away at her grandmother's. She figured there would be no harm in telling her new summer friend, Lexi, that back home she was popular and dating the coolest guy in school. After all, Lexi lived far away and would never know the truth. Plus, it gave Devon the chance to spend two whole months living out the fantasy of being part of the A-list crowd, calling herself "Devi" and wearing lots of cute new clothes.
But Devon's real life comes crashing down the following school year when Lexi moves to town unexpectedly. Devon knows she has to come clean and confess to Lexi, but she keeps putting it off. In order to keep Lexi from finding out the truth, Devon has to pretend to be the popular "Devi" and make up even more lies to explain why she barely speaks to her gorgeous "boyfriend," Jared. Meanwhile, Devon's real-life best friend, Melissa, is getting fed up with Devon spending all of her time with the new girl, Lexi. Is it possible that Devon is trying so hard to be popular that she'll end up with no friends at all?
THE SECRET IDENTITY OF DEVON DELANEY is a fun, fast-paced book. It does a nice job of contrasting the lives and interactions of the "popular crowd" at Devon's school with those of the not-so-popular kids. Devon and her best friend, Melissa, are not exactly riding the top rung of the social ladder, and it's amusing to read how Lexi, the new girl, shows up at school and slides seamlessly in with the A-list crew. Devon is stunned by the ease with which her new friend does that. It's something Devon had dreamed of doing, but never knew where to start.
I enjoyed this book and was satisfied by the ending, but by about mid-way through the story, I wanted to scream at Devon. She kept burying herself deeper and deeper in lies in order to keep her initial falsehoods concealed. If she had simply admitted to Lexi what had happened in the first place, everything would have been fine. But things just went from bad to worse, with Devon's decisions getting more and more ridiculous as time went on. That was my biggest complaint about the book, although perhaps making the reader scream with frustration was intentional on the author's part. It helps show how even one little lie can spin out of control.
Finally, THE SECRET IDENTITY OF DEVON DELANEY seems like it would appeal primarily to girl readers, and the book cover says it's geared to readers ages 9 through 13, which seems about right. I highly recommend it for that audience, especially for readers who enjoy a funny story that reminds us about how important it is to stay true to who we are.