Something Maybe Magnificent

S. & S./Aladdin. May 2024. 416p. Tr $17. ISBN 9781665925525.
Gr 3-7–In Toalson’s sequel to The First Magnificent Summer, Victoria Reeves returns, this time to scare off her mom’s new boyfriend, Kyle. It’s been a year since her dad left Victoria, her siblings, and her mom to start a new family. Victoria has gotten used her new life and likes it the way it is. So when her mom announces that she and her boyfriend are getting married, Victoria ramps up the heat on Kyle. She blames him for things he didn’t do and pulls pranks on him as often as she can in an attempt to get him to break up with her mom. Victoria is often rude and unkind. She tries so hard to keep her family intact, but doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions. Toalson’s journal-style story contributes to Victoria’s hyper-focused depiction as she details the events of her summer. She frequently mentions experiences relating to her menstruation, which will be relatable to tweens. In addition to outlining her day, Victoria includes poems, multiple-choice quizzes, and letters. Toalson shares countless 1990s references, but some, such as Seventeen magazine and Beverly Hills 90210, may not land with contemporary readers. Most secondary characters are one-dimensional with the most nuanced one being Victoria’s friend, Eli. The protagonists are cued as white.
VERDICT A general purchase for realistic fiction collections.

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