Fifteen-year-old best friends Charlotte and Frankie believe that their lives are hopelessly dull compared to those of the characters in most of the YA literature they read. As if to prove her point, Char decides to write a novel based on their day-to-day existence. Though the girls are certain that the book will be as interesting as watching paint dry, they are surprised to learn that sophomore year can be exciting, if you pay attention. In her first work for teens, Barrows (the Ivy & Bean series) writes a realistic story about girls growing up in a suburban California town: Char and Frankie hang out, sometimes drink or smoke a bit, and think about kissing, growing up, taking chances, and feeling awkward. Their story unfolds through third-person chapters that alternate and overlap with Char’s borderline stream-of-consciousness book project: some readers will love her brash honesty, while others will find it distractingly rambling. And while plenty happens to Barrows’s characters, contrary to their own expectations, the book never exposes much about the secret lives of teenage girls. Ages 14–up. Agent: Liza Dawson, Liza Dawson Associates (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/26/2017 Release date: 09/01/2017 Genre: Children's
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