Things Jolie Needs to Do Before She Bites It

Kerry Winfrey. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-11954-4
A book about a girl’s facial deformity could easily become maudlin, but Winfrey (Love and Other Alien Experiences) employs sharp wit to offer ample levity as she traces 16-year-old Jolie’s trials in the weeks before her corrective surgery. Jolie dreams of having a “normal silhouette” post-procedure, with her “teeth lined up exactly where they’re supposed to be.” She is also fixated on the slight chance that she could die on the table and decides to create a bucket list of things to do before her operation. Her top priority is to kiss a boy, specifically handsome Noah Reed. Knowing that he will likely get the lead of the school’s spring musical (a play involving a pig farmer’s colonization of the moon), she auditions for a role among the chorus of pigs, despite her dread of being seen on stage. Jolie gets more than she bargains for when she wins the female lead opposite Noah—but her interest in him quickly dwindles as she realizes her heart really belongs to her best friend, Derek. Numerous laugh-aloud moments don’t lessen the potency of the story’s messages about beauty’s subjectivity and overcoming fears. Readers will gleefully cheer Jolie on as she learns to appreciate herself for who she is. Ages 13–18. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2018
Release date: 07/10/2018
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-250-30890-0
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