cover image Flashcards of My Life: A Novel

Flashcards of My Life: A Novel

Charise Mericle Harper, . . Little, Brown, $15.99 (235pp) ISBN 978-0-316-75621-1

Emily, the likable if long-winded narrator of Harper's (Fashion Kitty ) novel, receives—as a gift—a box of fill-in flashcards labeled with topics about which she is meant to record her feelings (friends, embarrassment, regrets, pet peeves, fate, etc.). The candid girl takes full advantage of this venue to vent her quite typical middle-school angst. She grapples with the hypothetical complications of having a boyfriend, wondering how one juggles a boyfriend and friends, yet admits, "I still want one!" When she discovers that her best friend concealed the fact that she's been dating one of Emily's longtime pals, the heroine is distraught. And Emily worries about her parents' chronic bickering and is subsequently perplexed when they suddenly start getting along. Finally, devastation sets in when she hears the rumor that Andrew, the boy she has a crush on, likes another girl. (A sticky-sweet resolution occurs when Emily and Andrew share a kiss in the park.) Amidst her exhaustive ruminations, illustrated with simple line drawings and chatty charts, Emily dispenses some nuggets that readers will find familiar and comforting: "Things always look worse at night, when it's dark. Tomorrow everything will be... less bad." And, referring to a pimple on her chin: "It's amazing how something so small can ruin your day!" Harper's tale will elicit nods of recognition—and a few chuckles. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)