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Notes from a Spinning Planet--Mexico Paperback – August 21, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


Melody Carlson has crafted a brilliant, kick up your heels, laugh out loud, winner.  Welcome to the Chick Lit side of the bookshelf, Sisterchick.  Keep ‘em coming!

Robin Jones Gunn, bestselling author of the Sisterchicks novels and the Christy Miller Series

About the Author

Melody Carlson has published more than a hundred books for children, teens, and adults, with sales totaling over 2.5 million copies. Several of her books have won awards, including the ECPA Gold Medallion and the Rita Award. Melody has two grown sons and lives in central Oregon with her husband and her chocolate lab retriever. She enjoys skiing, gardening, camping, and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Notes from a Spinning Planet
  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400071461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400071463
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,247,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including Romantic Time's Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deborah VINE VOICE on August 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Maddie is going on yet another trip with her Aunt Sid. Except this time its for fun and relaxation in beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Maddie is prepared for beaches, sun, and tropical drinks and is even more excited when Ryan is due to show up. However, the vacation is not all that's cracked up to be. First the timeshare location is rundown and not managed well. Then Ryan's ex girlfriend shows up making Maddie feel like a plain Jane third wheel. But Shelby has a secret that puts the pretty face facade to shame. Maddie has to fight feelings of jealousy in order to help her do the right thing.

I think that this was my favorite book out of the series. With this story, Maddie was able to enjoy herself and seek out social justice at the same time. The whole situation with Francesca's sisters and the orphanage sounded really sketchy. I wonder how many similar situations take place and it makes me worry that people will not use money correctly. I was really glad that the subject of binge drinking was brought up. In previous books, drinking one or two beers was not seen as a problem. However with this book, Shelby has become an alcoholic and refuses to admit it until Sid threatens her with drastic measures. Even an allergic reaction that almost kills her doesn't stop her. Sadly this is how many teens view their own lives. They don't care if something harms them as long as it makes them feel like it's giving a good time. But I really love how I can relate to these books. The feelings that Maddie had whenever Shelby was around her and Ryan, I think almost every girl has felt that way. And no matter how Christian a guy will be, just like Ryan they will always seem to give more attention to the prettier girl that seems to flaunt herself. It's a typical guy thing that will sadly never change, lol.
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Format: Paperback
Madison Chase is getting bored during her holiday break when she receives a welcome call from Aunt Sid, who offers her an escape vacation to Mexico. She jumps at the chance to spend some time with her favorite aunt and travel companion. Before she realizes it, Maddie is onboard a plane and then subsequently learning firsthand how slow the pace in Mexico is when they encounter one delay after another upon arrival.

Even once the duo arrives at their hotel, cultural differences abound. Both Maddie and Sid keep their eyes and ears open, alert to dangers from locals who have had enough of rude Americans. While the sun and water are enticing enough, an unexpected phone call from Ireland sets both women's hearts racing when they find out that Sid's Irish boyfriend, Ian, is coming for a visit and bringing Maddie's good friend, Ryan, along for the New Year's holiday.

Before the guys arrive at Cabo San Lucas, the girls find themselves sympathizing with their hotel clerk's difficulties and try to help her find better employment and housing. Little do they know how Francesca Tarrago has been influenced and controlled by the couple who ran the girls' home where she lived. Again, cultural differences make another appearance. Maddie does the best she can to help rescue Francesca from a dire future, and God orchestrates a rescue mission of His own that has the women responding in grateful awe.

Once Ian and Ryan arrive, the entire mood lifts from the serious to the seriously fun and romantic --- until an old girlfriend of Ryan's settles in front and center, and a sad and disappointed Maddie is temporarily pushed aside.
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Format: Paperback
Madison Chase's Christmas break from college in gray Washington is barely beginning, but already Maddie feels penned in--and in her parent's way. When Aunt Sid offers Maddie the opportunity to join her at a vacation condo in warm Mexico, Maddie jumps at the chance. Maddie and Sid are pleasantly surprised when Sid's boyfriend, Ian, and Maddie's friend, Ryan, decide to join them in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The condo Sid and Maddie are staying in has lots of problems and isn't near as nice as the one Ian and Ryan stay at. Sid and Maddie try to handle all the problems as best they can, but it seems like things keep piling up. Then Ryan runs into a high school sweetheart and Maddie has to fight jealousy as well.

Maddie befriends the desk clerk, Francesca, at their poorly run condo, and as she tries to help her new friend, she discovers that Shelby (Ryan's ex-girlfriend) has a horrible secret. Will Maddie be able to help both Francesca and Shelby?

Notes from a Spinning Planet Mexico is the second book in the Spinning Planet series that I've had opportunity to read. The story line is good, but at times reads more like a travel log than a fiction novel. There is some telling in places which makes it easy to start skimming instead of actually reading.

I enjoyed learning more about Mexico and look forward to reading other books in this series as they come available. Melody Carlson is a prolific author who writes successfully in many different genres. Readers will not be disappointed in Notes from a Spinning Planet Mexico, whether they like women's fiction, romance, chick lit, or youth fiction.

If you are interested in what Mexico is like as a country you might want to consider a mini vacation by picking up this book.

Armchair Interviews says: Pack your bags for a good story.
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