Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Avalon High - Meg Cabot

Publisher: HarperTeen

Indiebound Summary:
Avalon High, I was starting to think, might not be so bad after all.

Maybe it's not where Ellie wants to be, but if you have to start at a new school, Avalon High is typical enough: There's Lance, the jock. Jennifer, the cheerleader. And Will, senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy.

But not everyone at Avalon High is who they appear to be . . . not even, as Ellie is about to discover, herself. As a bizarre drama begins to unfold, Ellie has to wonder, what part does she play in all this? Do the coincidences she's piecing together really mean—as in King Arthur's court—that tragedy is fast approaching for her new friends?

Ellie doesn't know if she can do anything to stop the coming trouble. But somehow, she knows she has to try.

The impetus that actually drove me to read this book is watching the Disney Channel movie of Avalon High. I enjoyed it and so the saying goes "the book is usually better than the movie", I had to get the book. While the overall story line is similar, the movie differs a lot from the book.

Avalon High is a modern take on the Arthurian legend. Ellie, named after Lady Elaine of Astolat a.k.a Lady of Shalott, knows way more on medieval life, especially King Arthur and his court, than any teenager should know. That's because her parents are medieval scholars and when they move their family to Annapolis for their sabbatical, Ellie notices that her new classmates have way more in common with the Arthur legend then coincidence. Then strange things begin happening and Ellie needs to figure out what's going on before everything ends up in tragedy.

The plot seemed obvious; Will is so-Arthur like with the girlfriend named Jennifer and the best friend named Lance and they were seeing each other behind his back and crazy step-brother Marco is obviously the evil Mordred with his antics to hurt Will; that not a lot of the story surprised me. But despite this, I delighted in the story because of the awesome characters and Cabot's style of writing. No matter how cliché or plot-obvious Cabot gets sometimes, I always get drawn into her stories because her characters' voices is always so damn well-done. In Avalon High, Ellie's the voice of the story and she's funny and witty - just a very bright voice:

My dad grew up in the Bronx, where there aren't any snakes. He completely hates nature. He totally ignores our cat, Tig. Which of course means that Tig is crazy about him.
And if my dad sees a spider, he screams like a girl. Then my mom, who grew up on a ranch in Montana and has no patience for spiders or my dad's screaming, will come in and kill it, even though I've told her a million times that spiders are extremely beneficial to the environment.

I had a great time snickering as I followed the course of events through Ellie's perspective. And I love how wacky her parents are.

The thing that I liked in the movie over the book was that it changed the gender roles of Arthur and the plotting made it less obvious who was the bad guy and who really was King Arthur. I found that way cooler than the book's Lady in the Lake role it gave Ellie. Lady of the Lake is cool and all but Allie (as she is known in the movie) as King Arthur is even more awesome.

Book Source: borrowed from library

Author Website | Indiebound | Goodreads


France said...

I have had this out from the library a couple times and still haven't read it!

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