I finished this book earlier today, but I had to wait a bit before writing about it. The voice of Missy (the main character), sounded amazingly similar to my own at that age and it brought back memories and feelings from those times in my life that needed to settle a little. Missy is at that age where everything is changing - her brother is worried about going to high school, her father is getting remarried, her best friends have decided they are too old now to do some of the things they have always done together - nothing is the same. As most tweens and teens do, Missy fluctuates between anger, bewilderment, and laughter as she tries to come to terms with her life.
By the end of the story, Missy comes to the end of a long roller coaster of emotional upheaval and has a very mature thought as she watches her mother and father. "...do you turn those things off - close them like a book you once loved but couldn't possibly read again? And if so, are our lives made up of books like that? Entire collections of moments that make us who we are, but are impossible to keep open all at once?" As a librarian and book lover, I love the imagery and find it very true.
I don't want to give you the idea that this is a maudlin book, because it has plenty of bright moments, too. One of my favorite scenes is when Missy goes to her friend's house to help her pack for summer camp. Constance and Allie are going to camp, but Missy always helps on Packing Day. This year, Allie has decided she wants to be called Allison and both girls are worried about packing their bras (now that they wear them). Missy proclaims in a robot voice, "I-See-That-You-Two-AreVery-Grown-Up-Now-That-You-Go-to-Sleepaway-Campand-Also-Wear-Bras...Perhaps-We-Should-Also-Discuss-Marriage-And-Careers." Although sometimes the humor is the kind that is laughing to keep from crying, Missy is very funny.
For readers going through those transitional times in their own lives, whether it is going from tween to teen, from elementary school to middle school, or some other big adjustment, this story will resonate with you. Perfect for those who enjoy realistic fiction, coming-of-age stories, writers like Cynthia Rylant or Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.