Sunday, October 23, 2022

Fall Reading 2022 Pippa Park: Crush at First Sight


Publisher's Synopsis:

Join Pippa Park as she juggles friendships, bullying, crushes, and family in the sequel to the compelling drama-filled middle school book Pippa Park Raises Her Game.

Korean American Pippa Park picks up right where she left off . . . trying to balance basketball, school, friends, working at the struggling family laundromat, and fitting in. Eliot, her math tutor—and the cutest boy at school—is finally paying attention to her. And Marvel—her childhood friend—is making her required volunteering much more interesting. But things with the Royals, her new friends and teammates who rule the school, still feel a bit rocky. Especially because Caroline, a head Royal, would like nothing more than to see Pippa fail.

So when Pippa is faced with hosting the annual Christmas Eve party that could make or break her social life, how can she say no? Will Pippa make enough money to cover the costs while juggling crushes and everything else? With courage and determination, Pippa sets out to host the party, find the perfect dress, pick the right boy, and stay true to her real self.

My Review:

Once again Pippa is trying to balance too much at once. Things are better with her teammates, although Caroline still does everything she can to make Pippa uncomfortable. When an attempt to ward off one of Caroline's snide remarks winds up with Pippa being asked to host the Christmas party, she knows it will be a challenge to pull it off. "I felt like a lowly moth being drawn toward their irresistible warmth. I knew I was headed toward danger, but I couldn't turn away from their mesmerizing light." 

Besides school, homework, and team practice, Pippa's sister has volunteered her to help with the church Christmas play. Another of the volunteers is a boy Pippa's age who might just make her heart flutter the way Eliot does. "If Eliot was a solar eclipse overtaking the sky, Marvel was a pink-tinged sunset casting a rosy glow over the horizon." How will she choose between the two boys? 

Add on to everything else the babysitting jobs Pippa takes to help earn money to buy a dress for the party and all her anxieties about food, decorations, and other details - and you can see she must be a nervous wreck. Now that her two best friends are dating each other she feels left out and that she has no one to talk to about her troubles. What's a girl to do? Perhaps she should follow the advice of her neighbor, Mrs. Lee. "If you don't like the way your future is taking shape - then it's up to you to fix it."

The contemporary setting, the diverse mix of characters, and the typical teen issues all mix together for an entertaining story that has something to offer a variety of readers. 

Highly recommended for middle grade readers who enjoy realistic fiction.

I read an advance reader copy provided by the publisher for review purposes. Any quotes are from that copy and may change before final publication on September 13.

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