cover image Vivian Lantz’s Second Chances

Vivian Lantz’s Second Chances

Kathryn Ormsbee. HarperCollins, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-0630-6004-3

With affection and humor, Ormsbee (Growing Pangs) takes on a time-loop telling via an Austin eighth grader whose first day of school just won’t quit. From a preschool glitter incident to a bout of food poisoning in the fifth grade, each one of Vivian Lantz’s first days of school has been marred by what she thinks of as “the curse.” This year stands to be even worse, since Vivian’s best friend has moved away. Armed with wise words courtesy of her favorite fantasy author, Vivian launches herself into a foolproof self-reinvention plan: finding her style (rocker chic), joining the school paper (instead of writing fantasy fanfic), and wooing classmate Alex Fernandez (her crush for 23 months) by befriending a mean girl. The first day still doles out disaster after disaster, including her first period. But when the same day reprises the following morning, the event grants Vivian another chance—and sticks her in a time loop. As the days repeat and Vivian’s fully fleshed first-person voice forces her to become more deliberate with her choices, Ormsbee combines cringe-worthy moments with sweetly wrought relationships, creating supportive, caring day(s)-in-the-life circumstances around growing up. Vivian reads as bisexual and white; the secondary cast is intersectionally diverse. Ages 8–12. Agent: Beth Phelan, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (June)