cover image Luv Ya Bunches

Luv Ya Bunches

Lauren Myracle. Abrams/Amulet, $15.95 (335pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-4211-0

Blending instant messaging and screenplay-styled text into the narrative, Myracle (ttyl ) begins a new series about the woes of being a tween, featuring four likable heroines all named after flowers. Katie Rose, Camilla (aka Milla), Yasaman and Violet come from different backgrounds and have distinct passions and insecurities (Yasaman is Muslim and an expert with computers; Milla, who has two mothers, struggles with her sense of self). But each could use a new friend as she begins fifth grade (“What Katie-Rose wants is a real friend, the kind that lasts forever”). Their shared distaste for meanness and their enthusiasm for the social networking site that Yasaman creates help draw the girls together—and their desire to get revenge against cruel queen bee Modessa, who has hurt each of them at some point, seals their camaraderie. The novel sends something of a mixed message about the acceptability of teasing as the girls’ plot their own prank in response to Modessa’s machinations. Still, readers will find the girls’ voices enticing and should be able to relate to their conflicts and inner anxieties. Ages 9–13.(Oct.)