Publisher's Note:  

A smart and funny contemporary YA novel about 17-year-old Ethan who works at the crumbling Green Street Cinema and has to learn, along with his eccentric, dysfunctional work family, that fighting for the thing you love doesn't always turn out like in the movies.

Movies have always helped Ethan Ashby make sense of the world. So when developers swoop in and say the classic Green Street Cinema is going to be destroyed to make room for luxury condos, Ethan is ready for battle.

And so a motley crew of cinema employees comes together to save the place they love--there's Sweet Lou, the elderly organist with a penchant for not-so-sweet language; Anjo, the too-cool projectionist; Griffin and Lucas who work concessions, if they work at all; and Ethan, their manager (who can barely manage his own life). Still, it's going to take a movie miracle for the Green Street to have a happy ending. And when Raina Allen, Ethan's oldest friend (and possible soul mate?), comes back to town after working in Hollywood--cue lights and music--it seems that miracle may have been delivered. But life and love aren't always like in the movies.

This Book is Not Yet Rated is about growing up, letting go, and realizing love hides in plain view--in the places that shape us, the people who raise us, the first loves who leave us, and the lives that fade in and fade out all around us.


This book was provided to Compass Book Ratings for review by Dial Books an imprint of Penguin Random Hous LLC

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Dial Books for Young Readers

This Book is Not Yet Rated

by Peter Bognanni

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Overall Review:  

Grab a box of your favorite candy and take a romp through this fast-paced read on the life of Wendy…or is his name Ethan…. who is he anyway?

This Book is Not Yet Rated is the story of Ethan who manages a falling down, decrepit theater and his band of lost boys (and some girls, too) who staff the last vestiges of this old school bastion.  The all call him Wendy, although Peter Pan would probably be a better fit.  He isn’t very old and the story centers around the enormous burden of trying to save the theater that he has taken upon himself.  Throughout the book you are introduced to his past and why he values this location so much.

The story line in this is great.  While Ethan and his friend Raina deal with heavy topics, it is done in an approachable manner that is neither too overly sentimental nor too callous.  Bognanni treats the topics with appropriate reverence and age maturity.  The surrounding cast of characters is developed just enough to add color to the story, but back stories aren’t heavy and don’t drag down the plot line.

Throughout the book are sprinkled bits of film trivia and references to classic and little-known films.  I loved the glimpse into film noir and even wrote a few notes of movies to check out at a later date.  I also loved the chapter dividers that explained film terms in language that was easy to understand with examples provided.

The pages of this book flipped through like frames of a film and readers will enjoy this heartwarming tale of finding oneself in the place one loves.

Review of an Advance Reading Copy

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  18 religious exclamations; 18 mild obscenities; 5 religious profanities; 4 derogatory names; 12 scatological words; 14 anatomical terms; 1 offensive hand gesture and 4 F-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  References to father’s death; attempted murder of rat (comical); references to civil unrest and police brutality in the past; comical scene with a crashed scooter resulting in injured arm; movie description of household appliances attacking and eating humans; foot run over by a bike; pushing and shoving.

Sex/Nudity:  Reference to having someone by the genitals; reference to pasties covering genitals; naked butt depicted in movie and reference to pornographic scenes; girl discusses being photo-shopped into pornography; teens sleep in same bed; hand hold; hug.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Financial pressures, depression, anxiety, separation, death of a parent, divorce, infidelity, stealing.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Use of marijuana both smoked and in liquid form; adults smoke; adults and older teens drink wine and beer.

Reviewed By Beckie
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