Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book Review - Down & Out in Bugtussle


Down & Out in Bugtussle: The Mad Fat Road to Happiness

By: Stephanie McAfee
Publisher: NAL - New American Library
Publication Date: July 2013
ISBN: 978-0-451-23990-7
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: July 1, 2013

Anyone who fell in love with Diary of a Mad Fat Girl and the follow-up, Happily Ever Madder, will be jumping for joy about this new release. The fun, the friends - everything is back as we once again meet up with our favorite character, Ace Jones.
Now that the fiancĂ© has been left behind, Ace is headed back to Bugtussle, Mississippi, taking solace in the fact that she’s back in the world where she’s always felt safe. Living in Gramma Jones’ house, Ace wants to lick a wound or two, and find a new path. But it seems that many things are standing in her way.

When it comes to the job front, the art teacher who took over Ace’s position when she left is more than a bit annoying. She has no interest in vacating the position to allow Ace to retake her former place. This sends Ace down the school’s staff food chain a wee bit, landing her with the position of substitute teacher. All Ace can really think about is how to make Miss Becker get the heck out of dodge so she can have her job back.

As far as friends go, Chloe and Lilly (the best fiends a girl could ever have, by the way), are working on bringing Ace out of her newly-formed shell. They want her to start dating again and get back into the world of romance; but the last thing Ace wants to do is deal with her love life.

So, to forget the ‘man factor,’ Ace begins a do-it-yourself project to keep her mind engaged. This comes in the form of restoring her grandmother’s once amazing gardens. Yet, when Ace finds a gardening book stuffed with notes that indicate Gramma had a beau, Ace throws herself into the mystery. This way, she can keep her mind on a puzzle, stay away from the blind dates her friends are begging to set her up on, and basically heal herself by looking into a mysterious past.

They’re all back and more fun than ever. Even the little chiweenie, Buster Loo, is still standing by Ace’s side, and fans will have an absolute ball.

Quill says: Ace Jones will always be that girl who reminds us of ourselves, and shows us that you’re never really alone when you’re with Me, Myself, and I.