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I love slim books but this one just didn’t grab me the way I wished it would. I love the concept, and the writing was strong, but the emotion just didn’t resonate with me. I’ll be trying other books by this author. I wondered if the reason it didn’t grab me was because the protagonist is younger (14), but nah. I think I just wasn’t into her, particularly. Many young girls certainly will be.

I was really into the idea of a girl finding her newer self back at home — belonging — instead of the traditional independence found that you see in YA books all the time. And that was there: Janie learns to dig the idea of a having a Hootenanny in which her mom invites the entire community. She crushes on the unpopular but actually cool guy who hangs with his family. But bottom line: it was too innocent for YA. It felt like it just as much about not growing up too fast as it was “embracing a new you.” I’d give this to my 10 year old to read, not my 13 year old. And I’m not even sure she’d love it.

I LOVE this cover. The chapter titles were very fun and the author used some of my favorite quotes from poets, so it felt strange not love the story. So, we’ll see what else this author does! I think I’d like to hang out with her again.

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