Turn It Up!

Turn It Up! 272p. Scholastic/Point. Jan. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338161151.
Gr 5–8—A mash-up of Pitch Perfect and Glee for the middle school crowd. Lidia and Sydney are best friends and cocaptains of the Nightingales, their school's all-girl a cappella group. Rumored to be under a curse, the team has not been doing well the last few years, but the members are determined to turn things around. When Lidia catches Sydney kissing Griffin, the guy she's been crushing on for years, their friendship and the team start to fall apart. Auditions go badly and Lidia quits. She focuses on her love of dancing and meets a cute boy on the bus who shares her love of Sailor Moon and nonpareil chocolates. When the pranks and competition between the Nightingales and the school's all-boy a cappella group, the Kingfishers, ends in disaster at the school's open house, Lidia and Sydney come up with a plan to fix the group and their friendship. Everything gets resolved neatly. The narrative is told in the voices of Sydney, Lidia, and Julianna, a new member of the group who has debilitating stage fright. Each of the protagonists is relatable and their problems are easily worked out. The character development is at surface level, and the secondary characters are stereotypical—down to the girl who can only sing with a puppet on her hand—but that does not detract from what is a quick, light read.
VERDICT Purchase for collections where a cappella and Pitch Perfect are popular.

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