Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B Cooney

OK, the premise sounded really interesting: teenage girl finds a photo of herself on a missing child picture. Then the mystery and the drama of trying to discover the truth of what happened.

Great concept but absolutely lousy delivery. Perhaps I've been spoiled by reading some really good literature lately, but this was utter schlock. The author created the most amazingly two dimensional characters. These folks were so dull I raced through the book just to find some plot to keep me going. The young protagonist starts off interesting (some playfulness, anxiety, and teen angst) and she gets a boyfriend, but they end up both just putting me to sleep. They talk matter of factly about having sex, more like a mechanical thing than any talk about feelings. Her chats with her girlfriends are largely boring as well.

It seems that the author really doesn't know the first thing about teens or how they feel. Instead, there is melodrama, people crying and screaming for no real reason.

There are two other books in the series and when I started I was afraid that I would have to read them all. I won't bother.


GiRlPoWeR said...

Excuse me?!!! I happened to love this book!! It was awesome!! Frankly, you wouldn't know if a book was good for young girls like me to read, because you are not a girl. (Unless you're hiding something.) Plus, you're not a teenager like me so don't go saying that the author doesn't know how to relate to people our age...because sorry to say, but times have changed. And views from teenagers in this decade have changed too. We like a lot of drama. Why do you read books? TO ENTERTAIN YOU! And what better entertains you then drama or romance or conflict? So don't say that teens like me won't like books, because you have no idea, Mister. And just because you thought a book was boring, that doesn't mean other people won't like it. So I hope when people read your view, they also take the time to read mine, because all in all this book is worth reading. So, Mister Paul, you shouldn't make other people judge a book by your review.

P.S. If you read the sequels, you might change your mind.

monkeysRpretty said...

honestly i havn't read this book yet so i have no idea what it's about except that she finds her face on the back of a missing person thing and i think it's kind of cool. it's intense and exciting! i mean what would you do if you found your face on the back of a milk carton as a missing person?it would make you rethink your whole life. i mean you never know what happened when you were three. or at least i don't. but girlpower you be tight!

Paul said...

I've thought hard about what girlpower said in her response to my review. I do hope that everyone understands that these are simply my thoughts on these books. They are not necessary True or anything like that (although the fact that I'm no longer a teen, and never a girl is not entirely relevant IMO when reviewing literature).

I agree that I really liked the premise an awful lot. I think it would be an amazing shock to find my face on a milk carton. But I guess the story I imagined developing was so much deeper (dealing with family bonds and deep secrets) and what I saw in book one wasn't that at all.

Perhaps the sequels develop those themes more. I'm open to reconsideration.

Unknown said...

I also happend to love this book. It was extrondinary... i had to write a book report for mi 7th grader class in scottsdale az for mi teacher mr. lindell her it is

The Face on the Milk Carton
By: Jordan Hibbs

How would you feel if u all of a sudden didn’t know who you were just by looking at a little photograph, on a simple milk carton? In the book The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney, Janie Johnson, a 16 year old girl, is in that exact situation. Only complaining that her name is too simple, when discovering how complex her life may really be, she goes on a mission to find her real self. Living in a small town you think that these things would never happen but it did. Will she find herself and who she really is? Or will she go through life without knowing?
The major theme of this book is to never give up. Janie Johnson finds a milk carton with her picture on it that says she is missing. She decides to go on a quest and find out the truth about her life. On the way she runs into many obstacles, but she tends to get through all of them. Another smaller theme is that you should always believe in yourself. Janie always believed in herself even when things got hard. Such as when Janie is looking for her real parents and she is relieved, but when she checks out the address of the Springs in New Jersey, she finds another surprise in a series of mind-numbing emotional incidents. Janie silently wrestles with the question, is she Janie Johnson, or is she Jennie Spring from New Jersey? Ultimately, Janie must make the hardest decision of her life. Not even her new relationship with Reeve or the knowledge that her parents truly love her can help her.
Janie Johnson is a fifteen year-old girl. She is pretty, with wild, chaotic red curls. Janie is in a difficult age. She is searching for her own identity. Janie does not have any brothers and sisters and she would like to have a boy-friend, but she does not know how to find one (in the beginning of the book) because her parents are very strict. She is not allowed to go out alone in the evening. Janie is a curious girl and she wants to know everything and to find out everything about the world. She has a lot of friends and she didn’t have a lot of problems. Like every teenager, she loves talking on the phone. Overall, she lives a happy life with her parents - until one day!

The place that Janie lived was a comfortable and secure upper middle-class lifestyle. Her suburban Connecticut neighborhood contains a sense of tradition that can make room for growth. The neighborhood that Janie lived in was an architecturally mixed neighborhood. Originally a street of large older houses with front porches, big attics, and trees that dumped a million leaves every autumn, each side lot had been built upon.

I must admit that at first glance, I judged this book, The Face on the Milk Carton, by its cover. Although that's wrong, I must say that I was attracted to it since the beginning. While reading this book I was amazed, but also terrified. Just imagining what Janie Johnson was going through is scary. This book perfectly describes the emotions of a confused teenager, and how complicated life can sometimes be. I have to say, that it surprises me how someone like Janie, living a normal calm life, wouldn't go crazy discovering such a different life that was always present. This drama really got inside of me, and definitely made me do serious thinking about how much my family means to me, and how well do I know myself. This book is definitely worth reading!

Unknown said...

I think the book was great. Very exciting and really cool.It would be really weird if my face was on the milk carton.