Addie Bell's Shortcut to Growing Up

368p. ebook available. Delacorte. Feb. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399555107.
Gr 6–10The worst birthday ever confirms what Addie Bell already suspected—that being 12 and in seventh grade stinks. If only she could just fast-forward to being 16! But when fate and magic combine to make Addie's birthday wish come true, she finds that suddenly being in high school is a whole lot harder than she'd thought. For starters, she can't speak French or do trigonometry. Worst of all, her best friend, Grace, now seems to hate her; she has become besties with shallow mean girl Clementine; and although she might look 16, she still has the driving and flirting skills of a 12-year-old. How do you unmake a birthday wish? For the second time this year, Brody borrows a premise from a classic 1980s or 1990s movie and then runs with it to make it her own. A Week of Mondays was a YA take on Groundhog Day, while Addie Bell is indebted to Big. This lightweight, fun romp points out that big changes (some of them unfortunate) can come from small choices thoughtlessly made, and that being yourself with your equally uncool best friend is a lot better than being popular all by yourself. Also revealed: dorky seventh grade boys can actually grow up to be date-worthy!
VERDICT A solid purchase for secondary libraries; hand to readers looking for best-friend stories with a hint of romance.

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