Author: Natasha Friend
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (March 8, 2016)
Description: The first month of school, thirteen-year-old Anna Collette finds herself...
- DUMPED by her best friend Dani, who suddenly wants to spend eighth grade "hanging out with different people."
- DESERTED by her mom, who's in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt.
- TRAPPED in a house with her dad, a new baby sister, and a stepmother young enough to wear her Delta Delta Delta sweatshirt with pride.
- STUCK at a lunch table with Shawna the Eyebrow Plucker and Sarabeth the Irish Stepper because she has no one else to sit with.
My Thoughts: Anna Collette isn't having a great start to eighth grade. Her best friend Dani lost her braces and gained boobs over the summer. Now she is part of the popular crowd and has left Anna behind. Anna's mother has attempted suicide and is now hospitalized which means that Anna is forced to live with her father, his new young wife and their toddler baby daughter. She is very worried about her mother, feeling friendless, and just generally feeling scared and lost.
Things might not be as bad as Anna thinks. Her mother has a new diagnosis and a new variety to medications and it looks like she is gradually becoming more stable. The girls she is eating lunch with may seem weird to the outside world but they are lots cooler than they look. Even her father's new wife is a much nicer person than she thought she was.
The was a great story about dealing with changes and looking deeper. I really liked Anna and felt bad that she had so much to deal with. I liked that her teachers and her school counselor tried to reach out to her and kept reaching even when they didn't get any response from Anna. I liked that her new friends accepted her as she was and gave her new interests to help her get her mind off her troubles. I also liked the way her dad tried to find new ways to communicate with his daughter.
Fans of contemporary middle grade stories will enjoy getting to know Anna.
He's ranting about my mom and I can't stand it. All I want to do is cover my ears and scream Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! because she is still my mom. He got to trade her in for a new wife, but I can't trade her in for a new mother. She's all I have. And she's sick. And I'm scared. And I feel like, if I'm not careful, the fear could eat me alive.I got this ARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.