Making Friends with Alice Dyson

Poppy Nwosu. Walker Books US, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1478-9
Australian author Nwosu debuts with an offbeat romance featuring an endearing, mismatched couple. High school senior Alice Dyson doesn’t mind not being popular—having best friend May is enough. But when someone films Alice impulsively engaging in a dance-off with transfer student Teddy Taulalai, around whom rumors swirl, she’s suddenly the source of gossip, even told by a teacher to “surround yourself with only good influences.” As May decides she wants to work her way into the popular crowd, Alice is drawn closer to Teddy, learning that rumors about his failing grades and violent behavior at a previous school are false. Neither Alice nor Teddy is who they appear to be on the outside, and Nwosu adroitly and subtly peels back both characters’ layers to reveal their essences. Alice, known as a studious grind, has a secret plan for the future that has nothing to do with academics; Teddy, more quirky than scary (if a little pushy at times), is still grieving the death of his mother. Told from Alice’s point of view, Nwosu’s novel expresses universal vulnerabilities and ends with a surprising resolution. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/16/2020
Release date: 09/15/2020
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-1-74305-612-7
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