This book review is part of series of reviews written by students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School for their 7th grade English classes.
I, myself, have never been in high school. I am a middle schooler and the world beyond me is a mystery. I have no idea what the aliens do for fun, or what they talk about. They seem to be a different species, but Mark Peter Hughes makes me understand and relate to high school students in his book Lemonade Mouth.
This book takes place in the small town of Opequonsett, Rhode Island, where five students at Opequonsett High School come together to make a difference. When I read this book I was amazed at the description of high school. Through the author’s word choice and description, I felt the emotion of each character as they spoke. I sensed the struggles they went through, the anger, and sadness they experienced.
Even though this book was well written, it could be hard to follow at times. Lemonade Mouth was written to portray the future, in which the band members were speaking in an interview, after all of the events had already occurred. I found this writing style to be a perfect way to describe some events, and in others I found it to make the story repetitive and boring. Through this, the author was able to tell the story from the perspective of Mo, Olivia, Stella, Wen and Charlie, the band members of Lemonade Mouth, and Mr. Hughes could easily explain everything happening to these teens.
This novel shows how teenagers in high school can struggle, but if they follow their dreams they can become great. This is illustrated throughout the book, along with the reoccurring moral of even outcasts have purpose, the author shows multiple examples of this in his book. He uses moments of vulnerability and feeling to get that moral through to the reader. “We are not just some throwaway pop band… our stuff will be important” (80). This phrase perfectly describes this book. It shows that these kids wanted to make a difference. They didn’t want to be nobodies. “Aren’t you tired of being on the sidelines? What’s the biggest problem with our school? I’ll tell you. It’s that most kids don’t step up. Why is it okay that only a few are seen as important and everybody else is a nobody… I don’t want to be remembered as just another face in the year-book, another kid that people vaguely recall passing in the corridor” (82). Said by Stella Penn, this quote shows that this group of kids are nobodies, and that they want to be noticed, which again shows that even outcasts have a purpose.
I also was touched by the characters in Lemonade Mouth. Stella is a girl who had moved from Arizona to the small town of Opequonsett almost halfway across the country. She was inspirational and believed in what she stood up for. I was amazed by her courage and her determination to be a somebody. Wen is a nerdy boy who secretly is in love with his dad’s girlfriend, and because of this hates her and himself. Mo is an Indian girl who plays bass classically, and is a genius. She is not the perfect Indian daughter, and not a regular American girl. Charlie is a chubby boy that plays a weird arrangement of drums. He loves Mo, but she loves someone else. Olivia, is the lead singer for Lemonade Mouth, and is a shy, and lonely girl. She has stage fright, but musters up enough courage to perform. These outcasts may be freaks, but they are Lemonade Mouth.
Overall, Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes, is a elegantly written book, and clearly shows life and struggle in high school. I would highly recommend this book for anyone between the ages of twelve and seventeen, because there is mature content. I really enjoyed this book and I hope you enjoy as well!
-Bryce V., 7th grade