By Bethany Lopez
Release Date: June 17, 2011
Melissa begins her freshman year with one goal in mind, getting Brian Jackson to be her boyfriend. She will soon learn that things don't necessarily turn out the way you plan them, the value of true friendship, and the importance of family.
Freshman year of high school, it's really the make it or break it year for the rest of the time you are in high school. Melissa is very confident in the beginning and has her eyes set on snagging Brian as her own. But then things begin to turn awry. First her best friend has turned Goth and completely ignores her and her supposed new friend is out to destroy Melissa's attempt at a relationship. Again the first year of high school, complete drama and I love it. Brings back memories of what high school life was all about.
There is a lot of teenage problems in this book for sure, and I really felt like there was a high schooler in front of me complaining about their problems. The book is written in journal form and I bet if I bought out my old journal it would sound very similar to Melissa. Perhaps not the things that happened to her but the tone of voice. This book we get introduced to all the main characters, Melissa, Jess, Brian, Jimmy and Melissa's family. Each one has their own story within her journal so you get a glimpse of all of them and their day to day issues. I have to say that I was a little disappointed with Melissa in some parts, and she really is very materialistic but that's who she is so we can't fault her for it.
Overall interesting start to a series. Let's see what happens next ...
xoxoxo (Stories About Melissa, #2)
By Bethany Lopez
Release Date: March 2, 2012
Melissa has learned a lot since her freshman year began, but it isn't over yet! Her world is about to change again with the birth of her new sibling, and she has to figure out how she will adjust to being the eldest of five kids. She, Jess, and Jimmy are inseparable, and she is having a fantastic time although she can't help but miss Brian as she tries to learn how to deal with his relationship with Layla. Everything seems to be happening at once and that is when she is introduced to Ben Campbell, a senior at Dearborn High, who becomes an interesting distraction as he helps her deal with the new developments in her life.
I've really started to get invested in these characters that seem to grow through each book from all their hardships. Sure some things might be trivial to some people but others are quite grand. Like the birth of Melissa’s baby brother Max who has come out to be quite a special boy. His birth leads on to new friendships, new emotions and new experiences with each character. I love how one little thing can change everyone in different ways. It really brings out that sliding door mentality because of this one thing didn't happen their lives would be completely different. It’s events like the birth of a child that brings family together and your morals and personality come out in full force.
There were some tough times throughout the book but that’s life. Melissa is now a sophomore and high school doesn’t get any easier, but with the help of family and good friends anything can be possible.
Ciao (Stories About Melissa #3)
By Bethany Lopez
Release Date: August 2012
Melissa has had a fantastic summer hanging out with her friends and making new ones. Life as she knows it will change when they all come together to begin their sophomore year at Dearborn High. Connections will be made and friendships will be tested. Will Melissa’s family and friends be able to help her through the challenges she will face in the upcoming months?
This one definitely started out with a shock, for shocks value stake I believe. It’s like you’re watching a soap opera and out of the blue one of the semi-main characters just offs themselves or some tragedy happens that you were not expecting and just can’t help but think what the hell just happened. This book definitely bought that element out and I loved it more for it because it just took that plain sense of moving along and shook it up a little.
In this book we learn how the different characters learn to deal with the hard situation, and even if they want to get in bed and just lie there forever they know they have to move on. This book helps explore that situation along. There is a lot of growing up that is done in this book and I have to say between all the characters I can’t choose a favorite but I am totally for team Jimmy because he seems like the most intriguing. You just want to give him a hug and Melissa although quite materialistic in manor she really does have a big heart.
Again another lesson in bringing family and friends together through the hard times and the good times as long as they are together they can conquer anything.
This series has great morals, great story telling and very soap opera esque for younger adults starting off high school. I mean I’ve never seen Degrassi but this is how I picture it. (No offense to those who have seen the show and it doesn’t compare this is just my perception) The characters are good and quite different from one another that helps bring in different elements into any story. They are believable and realistic in the way they are and the different ways they overact. I would definitely check out the next book in the series that comes out next month and they are short and sweet. Very quick reads that will make you wonder what this bunch of friends will come up with next.
Below is a view into what will be happening in the next book.
TTYL (Stories About Melissa #4)
By Bethany Lopez
Release Date: November 12, 2013
The last few months have been a rough road for Melissa. Her grades have slipped, her parents treat her like a prisoner, and her closest friends are too involved in their own lives to spend time with her. Desperate to escape her depressing funk, she starts spending more time with Layla, who introduces her to a new crowd...the wrong crowd. When Melissa starts to go down a dangerous path, can anyone get through to her before she does something she'll regret