So Done

304p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Aug. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062691781.
OrangeReviewStarGr 5–8—In this story set during the last few weeks of summer between seventh and eighth grade in the housing project of Pirate's Cove, TX, themes of friendship, trust, loyalty, and family are examined with a sharp eye. Tai cannot wait until her best friend Bean gets back from "the woods" where she's been staying with her aunt. Life in the Cove isn't the same without her. When Bean comes back, she seems different. She wants to be called Jamila or Mila, not Bean, even by Tai. She seems distant and doesn't want to come over to Tai's house anymore. Meanwhile, the big news in the Cove is that auditions for a new talented-and-gifted dance program are being held, but Tai isn't as excited about the auditions as her friends. Characterization is nuanced and skillfully layered, especially in the depiction of the relationships between the girls, their caregivers, and their circle of friends. Chase gives hints as to why Mila is so uncomfortable in Tai's home but takes her time with the reveal. Readers, and eventually Tai, learn that Tai's father was verbally and physically inappropriate with Mila. Tai struggles with this knowledge, her silence and complacency, and how to repair her relationship with Mila.
VERDICT A pitch-perfect look at changing adolescent relationships and resilience.

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