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Published:September 4th, 2010 18:34 EST
Allie Finkle, Blast From the Past.

Allie Finkle, Blast From the Past.

By Tony Graff

I`m a bit of a sucker for free books, but when I got a package from Meg Cabot with the latest Allie Finkle book, Blast From the Past, I had a moment of "What was I thinking?" I`m a 23 year old guy, and this is a book for 12 year old girls written by the queen of chick-lit herself. 

Nevertheless, I read the book, and actually had a pleasant experience. What I enjoyed most was the candid voice of Allie throughout the book. Not only does she sound like a fourth grader, but her scope of the world also sounds like a fourth grader. Six grand to get the roof repaired isn`t nearly as important to a kid as their pet cat hiding out inside a wall and refusing to come out. 

Along the way through her first field trip, she lends insight that is humorous even for adults. "It`s rude to say someone looks like a French poodle unless they are, in fact, a French poodle" brought a smile to my face as far as witty comments go. 

So, Blast From the Past did a great job spotlighting this section of Allie Finkle`s life. She`s never gone on a field trip, due to circumstances beyond her control. This year though, since she couldn`t get a cell phone, and her house is getting renovated, she`s determined to go on the field trip to an old-time schoolhouse. 

As often is the case, whether you are 12 or 30, no good thing isn`t surrounded by bad stuff. Come to find out this field trip is with several people who delight in teasing her, both from her current school and the one she used to attend, some ex-best friends, and she still doesn`t have her own cell phone. 

What I found most relaxing about Allie Finkle is that there was no crisp, solid, ending. Throughout the story, I was drawn to wanting to know more about the main character, and see what`s going to happen in the future. The characters weren`t created to orchestrate this particular story, but the story was a fragment of characters who acted and reacted as you expect real people to do. 

Though I am not likely to invest in the other books in the Allie Finkle series, Blast From the Past is a book I`ll recommend for wanting to get in touch with our younger selves. 
Judyth Piazza chats with Meg Cabot, Author of the Princess Diaries
Jan 15, 2009 ... Meg Cabot was born on February 1, 1967, during the Chinese astrological year of the Fire Horse, a notoriously unlucky sign.