Book Review: Lemonade Mouth

July 31, 2011

I may not have been the brightest bulb in my family, but you don’t have to be a genius to know that it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Look, we all know I read Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes because it was turned into a Disney Channel movie. I might have waited a little longer to read the book if not for the fact that Hughes’s website says an age appropriate version of the book is being released. WELL. I had to know what in the original book is not appropriate for middle schoolers post haste. So to the library I went.

What I Liked

– The premise for this book is fantastic. Five freshmen wind up in detention and then find out they make beautiful music together. Is it fate? Coincidence? And how do these five teens who are trying to avoid attention deal with being in a band that attracts attention?

– Five really great and interesting characters, all with distinct reasons for staying in the band. BONUS: Ethnically and racially diverse as well. Charlie is Latino and Mo is Indian.

– Alternating narratives/points of view.

– I also like the overall message of effecting change with small acts. Oh, and of course how music can bring people together.

– I wish I could hear the music the band plays because it sounds so interesting/different. A ukulele married with a trumpet and congos and classical bass? WHAT. Let me hear some of that.

What I Didn’t Like

– This book is SO BORING. I just so completely didn’t engage with the characters or care about their lives. I mean, there was good stuff in here! An illicit romance, unrequited love, imprisoned dad, hottie/lust object of a stepmom, fish out of water, absent parents, overbearing parents, a dead twin, overachievers, overnight popularity, etc. AND YET. I just wanted the book to either (a) be interesting or (b) be over.

– As far as I can tell, the only bit that may need to be changed is Wen’s whole embarrassing deal of getting a boner on the first day of school. Because, of course, no middle schooler can relate to that. I don’t even know.

In conclusion: I hope the tween appropriate version is more interesting.

Support Your Local Library: 25/30; YA Challenge: 21/20; Page to Screen: 3/5; POC Challenge: 15/15

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  1. Katy

    LOL I’m glad you read & reviewed this! I’ve been thinking about reading this for the same reasons. Thanks!

    • Akilah

      You’re welcome! I love reading source material, truly. I’m always intrigued by the ways adaptations play out. I feel like the movie took the best of the premise and made it more workable. My only complaint about the movie is the lack of distinctively different music, but I know they can only do so much.


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