18114547Reviewed by Melanie Kline

Justine moves a lot. Her father’s job keeps them going from place to place and she hates being the new kid at school. She is also into fashion and wants to be a designer some day. She loves vintage clothing and has huge issues with spending way too much money on purchasing said clothes. Her mother is very unhappy with this as she went so far as to run up her mother’s credit card and had to work to pay it back.

Justine finds herself in West Falls, NJ and is nervous about her first day of school so she picks one of her favorite dresses to wear – an authentic Scott Paper Caper – in hopes that it helps her fit in. She fails miserably. Not only does she get ink splattered all over her irreplaceable dress, but she gets teased, the dress gets torn and she pretty much has the worst day of her life.

Tales From My Closet is about coming of age for teenage girls–making friends, losing friends, fitting in, fashion, feelings, love, holding tightly to your dreams, cruelty and despair. It is also about marriages breaking up, losing sight of your dreams until it is too late and trying to save your children from the same fate.

I recommend this book very highly to any and all teenage girls and even their parents. There is valuable information to be found lingering between the pages of the story. Life can be harsh for teenage girls and Tales From My Closet focuses on this while keeping with the title and Justine’s dream of being a designer.

I found the book to have a bit too much of foreshadowing as I pretty much knew what was going to happen during most events. However, given that I was once a teenage girl it was probably just learned from experience. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. The author flows from one girl to another and all the dilemmas they face smoothly. She works all five of the girls’ feelings together by separating each chapter to focus on one girl at a time so you get to experience the feelings generated by ongoing events from all perspectives.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Scholastic Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.