cover image Kind of a Big Deal

Kind of a Big Deal

Shannon Hale. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-20623-7

Josie Pie “was kind of a big deal” in her Yasmine, Ariz., high school, certain that her star power as an actress and vocalist would immediately land her on Broadway, but after dropping out senior year and moving to New York City, Josie’s life is far from the triumph she imagined, and she can’t afford to stay. Freshly relocated to Missoula, Mont., with the family she nannies for, she struggles to handle her overwhelming credit card debt, shifting relationships with her boyfriend Justin and best friend Nina, and the growing awareness that the future she so yearned for has failed to materialize. When Josie gets literally absorbed in the books she’s reading—becoming a maiden in a historical romance, a survivor during the Zombloid apocalypse, a superheroine in a graphic novel, and more, with real-life people as supporting characters—she begins to find it increasingly difficult to return to reality. Hale’s cross-genre adventure is playful and effective, allowing Josie to gain perspective as she works through feelings she’s long ignored. Cogently revealing the fallibility of ourselves and those we trust, this coming-of-age story will especially appeal to readers exploring post–high school liminal spaces. Ages 12–up. [em](Aug.) [/em]