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Customer Reviews for Zondervan Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1

Zondervan Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1

After DJ's mom died, she had to move in with her grandmother, Katherine Carter, a retired internationally famous '60s fashion model. Now Mrs. Carter has decided to open a boarding home for girls, and DJ who would rather wear her team jersey than Gucci and Prada thinks that these girls will all be intolerable fashion snobs. One by one, the girls arrive and begin to figure out how to fit into this new lifestyle, and forming friendships. Sure, there's an aspiring prima donna or two, but before long, the Carter House girls are dating, fighting, laughing, shopping, and sharing...their deepest secrets. DJ may not turn into the young woman her grandmother intended her to be, but one thing's for sure with all these new "sisters," her life will never be the same!
Average Customer Rating:
4.079 out of 5
4.1
 out of 
5
(38 Reviews) 38
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15
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Customer Reviews for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Review 1 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Date:July 11, 2010
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Reagan
It was an interesting story plot, but I felt like I was reading a normal secular with a few handfuls of mentioning God thrown in just to make it Christian. I would recommend either Carlson's much earlier fiction or the Christy Millers series by Robin Jones Gunn instead.
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Review 2 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:February 22, 2010
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Raye
This book is horrible! I felt contaminated after I read it. Melody spent 2 pages describing a "passionate" make-out session in the back of a car, and there is no way I will ever read any of her books again. While I understand why some girls thought it was great compaired to secular books, I disagree.I'm 14, and when I finished reading, I was so horrified I asked my Mom to look at it, and she threw it away. A much better author would be Robin Jones Gunn, and her Christy Miller and Katie Weldon books. Please do not buy any of this series!!!
+2points
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Review 3 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 24, 2009
If you are looking for a clean alternative to secular YA fiction, then this is the series for you. I adore Melody Carlson's books. I'm past the age of the intended audience, but I can read her books and still feel like they relate to my life. This series is no different. While there are rich girls in this story, the situations that they go through, seem all too familiar. The diverse cast in this book is great. The boarding school scenario is the hot thing in YA fiction these days and it was fun to see it put to use in this book. It helps to bring out the characters and lets you get to know them better. Each girl is very different. Taylor and Eliza were just like girls in my high school and I felt exactly the same way DJ did. I really liked DJ. She's a great character, the "everygirl" one that most girls will be able to relate to. I really did not like DJ's grandmother. DJ manages to hold her own with her grandmother, but it's plain to see that Grandma would rather have a skinny backstabbing model who has sex and smokes than an athletic, smart, normal girl for a granddaughter. While those on the extreme conservative side might have problems with this book, I applaud its frankness. Unfortunately most teen girls do not live in sheltered homes where there is a Bible study and prayer time every night. A lot of girls have to go to their high school and face other teen girls who act just like Taylor. Even as a Christian, there are going to be times when teen girls are just going to get really angry and jealous of other girls. Also the relationships with the boys are very well handled and everyone acts according to their age. I believe Melody Carlson is an expert at relating to teen girls and being able to show them realistic situations that they will understand and enjoy reading. This is a series that you can pass along to a reader of secular YA and they will still enjoy it. HIGHLY recommended
+2points
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Review 4 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:December 28, 2008
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Michelle Sutton
This story was pretty good for YA fiction. If I could imagine being in a boarding house with a bunch of different girls it might look something like this story, even though the girls in this book are rich, or at least half of them are. I enjoyed reading about Conner and DJ's developing relationship and about DJ's innocence when it came to dating. I thought the author did a good job showing how difficult it is to understand what guys are interested in. Girls always think it's about beauty but with Conner he wanted a girl he could relate to. It's got a great message about the pressures of fitting in and provides a good platform for expressing different struggles teens deal with. The polaroid picture being taken at the hairdresser was a bit outdated, though. I don't know anyone who even has a polaroid camera these days. I ordered the next three books in the series because I am very interested in reading more about Conner and DJ and finding out who gets the guy in Stealing Bradford. Of course, I'm rooting for Rhiannon. So far I like this series.
+2points
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Review 5 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 19, 2008
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Creative Madness Mama
When I first started this book, I was not too sure of how I would like it. But then as I left it and went to do some other things, I realized that I kept thinking about the story, and could not get it out of my head! This is the first, I think, of Melody Carlson that I've been able to read.. meaning get my hands on. It is a great little story that should be read by all mid-high school girls. It is so real to life and it does meet up with every type of girl. You can see yourself and remember you...more When I first started this book, I was not too sure of how I would like it. But then as I left it and went to do some other things, I realized that I kept thinking about the story, and could not get it out of my head! This is the first, I think, of Melody Carlson that I've been able to read.. meaning get my hands on. It is a great little story that should be read by all mid-high school girls. It is so real to life and it does meet up with every type of girl. You can see yourself and remember your painful history within each individual girl. I was shocked when it ended, because it is one of those wonderful books that has previews of the sequel in the back, so I had though there was much more. But it was really a great story!
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Review 6 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 17, 2008
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Christy Lockstein
Mixed Bags by Melody Carlson is the first book in the Carter House Girls series. DJ's grandmother, a former supermodel, has opened up her large Victorian home to five other girls in hopes of turning them all into debutantes. DJ is au naturel: no make-up, hair tucked up in a baseball cap, and completely ignorant of designer labels. So sharing her home and even room with girls who look like they stepped off of the pages of Vogue does a number on her self-esteem. Taylor and Eliza and beautifully dressed and self-assured. Kriti is a lovely Indian girl who wants to go far academically. Rhiannon and Casey are Grandma Carter's charity cases. Rhiannon has come to faith in spite of her mother's drug addiction. Casey's parents believe she's in need of an intervention with the safety pins through her eyebrows and Goth style make-up. Throwing all of these girls into one house ensures plenty of drama and clashing personalities. I am thoroughly impressed with Zondervan's willingness to attack real teenage issues head on. Some of these girls are sexually active, one smokes, some drink; these are not your stereotypical Christian fiction teens. They break the rules and each other without a second thought. But Carlson gives each girl a real personality with quirks and failings. We see events primarily though DJ's eyes, and she struggles with figuring out who she is and want she really wants, just like every other real world teen. This promising introduction to the series definitely leaves the reader wanting more.
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Review 7 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:June 13, 2008
Melody Carlson is an amazing writer. Mixed Bags is typical Melody. Well-written toward her teen audience, this novel not only entertains but examines issues that our daughters face today.The highest praise I can give this book is that my fourteen year old daughter snatched it, devoured it, and is now begging me to take her to the store to buy the sequel Stealing Bradford. I love that there is material out there like this that is creating a love of reading in my child that other material has failed to do. Thank you, Melody Carlson.
0points
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Review 8 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 30, 2008
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L.White
This is a book about 6 very different teen girls who find themselves all living under the roof of a former 1960's fashion icon. As she works to make each of them respectable ladies, they work on their relationships with each other and with their pasts. Older teens and adults alike will enjoy this book. As soon as I finished book one, I was ordering book 2. I can't wait to see what happens next with The Carter House Girls!
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Review 9 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 29, 2008
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Lynn
The first installment in the Carter House Girls series is an interesting and unique teenage novel. It follows the lives of six teenage girls as they begin the life-changing task of moving to a boarding house and learning to live together, specifically from the point of view of DJ, Mrs. Carters granddaughter. I found the book to be different take on the teenage angst of girls coming of age. There is the obligatory dating and cat-fighting that accompanies sixteen-year-old girls. However, there is also a refreshing presentation of the gospel through how Christ has changed one of the girls. It is realistic and not sugar-sweet. There are some alcohol and sex references, but it is not inappropriate for the targeted age group. Overall, this book is a good, entertaining read. I look forward to the rest of the series.
0points
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Review 10 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 23, 2008
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K. Vetrano
When I got a copy of Mixed Bags I gave it to my 11 year old who loves to read. About a third of the way into the book my daughter lost interest in it. She told her herself that she thought it was for older girls because it talked a lot about boys, which she currently has no interest in. So I picked up the book to read it myself. This book is certainly for older teens. I would say maybe 15 or older. The book is well written and easy to read. The characters are interesting and I think many young adults will be able to relate to some of the characters personally. The girls in the house deal with issues that many young adults face. I think this book is a great way to introduce more books in the series. I was surprised how the book ended how it did but I guess that is what will keep readers interested and anxious for the next installment.
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Review 11 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 22, 2008
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Jody Bertram
This book really describes the lives of real teenagers. It deals with real life situations that teenage girls have to live through everyday. It involves cliques, fashion, and even boys! Having been on both ends of the same clique, I really relate to DJ. I really think that each teenage girl who reads this book will be able to see herself in at least one of the main characters! I also feel that teenage girls dealing with difficult situations will be able to find God after reading this book! I can't wait to read the next book!!
0points
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Review 12 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 21, 2008
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Susan
This is a frank, honest book dealing with normal teenage issues, with clothes, boys, relationships with girls, temptations, and family interactions. It is a fun book that as it deals with these issues, never glamorizes them, it rather focuses on coming to terms with these issues in light of how it fits in with Christianity. This is a series and the main character DJ, came to accept Christ towards the end of this book. I look forward to seeing how she deals with her new life in Christ in her old world. It is a bit "harder" than some people might be comfortable with, but from working with teens, they want something that engages them, speaks to issues they deal with in a real way without preaching. A good book for the older teen in your life.
0points
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Review 13 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 19, 2008
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Rachel
This was a really good book. It really makes me want to read the second book. I like the fact that it goes the way people actually live their lives. It seems very realistic.
0points
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Review 14 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 16, 2008
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Maria Marino
Melody Carlson strikes gold with Mixed Bags, her first book in the Carter House Girls series. With a refreshing twist she weaves classic teen pressures and predicaments into a contemporary storyline. When six girls, each carrying their own designer bag, live under the same roof, youve got a catwalk showcasing signature personality. No carbon copies here, but there are labels that need to be torn off and investigated. All six girls represent a stereotype found in every high school. We have Taylor the rich, spoiled, mean diva, the trendy but good-natured Eliza, Asian princess Kriti, angry nice girl turned rebel Casey, Rhiannon the too good to be true Christian, and DJ the wholesome tomboy. Carter House, the boarding school run by DJs fashion icon grandmother is where they meet, share, fight and grow. Stitched between lessons in social grace and beauty are the life-threads that clothe young ladies with character and integrity. Where to cut the cloth, and take a stand when it comes to drinking, gossiping, envy, revenge, and sex take on real life drama with believable characters and common tempting situations. What would appear on the surface as a superficial obsession with appearance, Mixed Bags sensitively deals with the teenage paradox of forging ones own identity while desperately longing to fit it. With romance as the key, Mixed Bags unlocks the shackles that immobilize a healthy self-image. Looking your best is not selling out. But being trapped by what you see in the mirror as the measure of your worth comes with an exorbitant price tag. The pay-off for the reader is revealed in the gorgeous truth: true beauty is a reflection of the real you.This book begs you to keep reading at the turn of every page. The writing is captivating and the characters have depth and dimension. I thoroughly enjoyed it and cant wait to start Book 2, Stealing Bradford and check in with the custom-made girls growing up together at Carter House.
0points
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Review 15 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 15, 2008
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Robin
I thought this was a great book. It would be great for teens who are unsure about their Christianity. I am 32 and even enjoyed reading it! It was a quick read and I have already bought the next in the series! I will save these for my daughter when she is older. I do have to say that there were a few spelling mistakes which always irkes me a little, but all in all a great book!
0points
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Review 16 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:May 14, 2008
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Lauren Blake
Though this book was entertaining, I actually wouldn't want my teenage daughter reading it. There is way too much emphasis on boy/girl relationships (in fact, that's really what the whole book is about, though the author tries to incorporate other themes). I just found it a little too frank and graphic for a Christian teenage audience. And though Carlson ostensibly condemns physical relationships among teens, there sure is a lot of it that goes on in this book. The parties and teenage drinking are too glorified in my mind, though some of the characters feel slightly uncomfortable with it. It just felt like someone trying too hard to be cool with teenagers, just to get them to read the book. Also, the salvation scene at the end feels very weak, almost like a obligatory afterthought. Other than a few passing references to God, it didn't even feel like a Christian book at all. Though I had high hopes for this book, I was very disappointed!
+2points
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Review 17 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 11, 2008
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Tanya Church
This first installment of the new Carter House Girls series by Melody Carlson was fantastic. Mixed Bags is a wonderfully realistic story of six girls living in a boarding house/finishing school of sorts. They all have their own storysome are quite high society, while others have had more troubled pasts. Carlson does a remarkable job keeping things light and humorous while touching on important issues that teenage girls face in the real world. Carlsons characters deal with issues surrounding self-esteem, romance, gossip, bullying, money, and real life high school. I seriously could not put this book down. I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next, and how DJ, the narrator, would react to her next challenge. I loved the dramatic, yet refreshing way DJ discovered God and took Jesus into her heart. I dont want to give it away, but it was a very well written, interactive scene in the book. I cant wait to read book two of this series, Stealing Bradford! I just HAVE to find out what happens between DJ and Connor! I highly recommend this book. You will not be disappointed.
0points
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Review 18 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 9, 2008
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susan holt
Great book to introduce the series of the Carter House Girls. Terrific for the teenage Christian girl in your life. The book addresses the topics that teenage girls face and how being a Christian helps in facing situations. The book also addresses some misconceptions about Christianity. For Example, one character assumes she is a Christian because her parents are and took her to church. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading the next book in the series to learn more about these characters.
0points
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Review 19 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 7, 2008
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A Lightner
The book seemed to be geared for girls between the ages of about 10 to 16. It was very quick and easy to read. The book covers a short time frame and quick introduction to all the new characters of Carter House. I liked the story line as it was easy to follow and I enjoyed the characters, but I felt the story ended too quickly. The ending was a bit abrupt and unexpected, but it left me wanting to read the second book in the series to find out what happens next.
0points
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Review 20 for Mixed Bags, Carter House Girls #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 7, 2008
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Joy Waters
This book is an amazing book. I really enjoyed it even at my age. I gave the book to my son's girlfriend and now she is looking for the rest of the series. I wish I could find more books like it.
0points
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