I received a copy of this book free for an honest review from HarperCollins Christian Publishing as part of the BookLook Bloggers program.
Book: Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek
Author: Jill Osborne
Morality Rating: G
Readability Rating: 3 stars
Buy It: Amazon
Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek Summary
Riley Mae is sporty- but don’t let that fool you. She is a girly-girl through and through. That is why she is so pleased when she is picked to be the new spokesperson for the new Swiftriver Shoe Company for their line of sporty girl’s shoes named after Riley (her dad is in advertising and suggested the name). But when her spokesperson’s duties start to interfere with softball and friends, and she starts to uncover strange mysteries at Swiftriver; Riley isn’t so sure she wants to be the face of Riley Mae shoes anymore. But thanks to an airtight contract, she’s along for the trek- whether she wants to be or not. Join Riley as she discovers what it means to be a girl of faith in a world full of secrets and drama.
This fast-paced read will appeal to sporty, girly girls who love sparkly lip gloss as much as they like tossing a ball. However, girls who like more intellectual pursuits will probably find themselves at odds with this story.
Plot: This story is about Riley’s adventures as she navigates the surprisingly challenging world of being a spokesperson. She faces numerous challenges including: fights with friends, dangerous situations, how to balance her work and life, how to help a friend in need, and how to justify the high cost of the shoes she is working to sell. Although the plot felt a little superficial, she does work through real issues that many pre-teen girls also face.
Characters: The characters in this story all seemed a little shallow. The entire book was light and the characters reflected that.
Setting: I couldn’t tell where Riley was supposed to live- maybe that was the point? This book was more dialogue-driven without the use of detailed passages about setting or character descriptions. A good portion of the story took place in Yosemite National Park, when Riley climbs a mountain for a photo shoot.
Writing: This story is simply written, and most of the words are on about a second-grade reading level. My 7-year-old daughter could easily read this book. For a middle-grade story, I had hoped to see a little deeper writing, but I had no complaints with the actual semantics of the story.
Riley May and the Rock Shocker Trek is a fast-paced, entertaining read that middle-grade girls should love to read- if they are as girly as Riley. I found the blatant PINK, PINK, PINK gloss over the entire story a little off-putting, but overall, it is a nice alternative to boy-crazy books.
Buy the book.