Simone Breaks All the Rules

Scholastic. Jun. 2021. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338681727.
Gr 6 Up–High school senior Simone Thibodeaux has always played by her parents’ rules—whether she wanted to or not. With a perfect older sister not offering much help rebellion-wise, and as graduation—and more importantly, prom—looms, Simone joins with two friends with similarly strict parents and the trio composes a senior year bucket list to help them finally let loose. From cutting class to clubbing, these New Jersey teens bond over their families’ loving but tight holds. Simone’s main obsession—getting a prom date—eclipses her other plans as she attempts to avoid the (admittedly cute) setup her mom has arranged. This romp through New Jersey is a lighthearted peek into Haitian American life, as Simone deals with her protective mother and the rest of her family, all well-drawn, nuanced, multidimensional characters. In particular, Simone’s dynamic with her mother and sister crackles with realism, humor, and affection. Some of the back-and-forth of prom date switches slows down the plot, but ultimately teens will enjoy this fun family story.
VERDICT Fans of Jenny Han and Brandy Colbert will find much to cheer about in this entertaining and charming novel.

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