Too Good To Be True

158p. (The Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair Series: Bk. 2). Darby Creek. Apr. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467709262; ebk. $13.95. ISBN 9781467724227. LC 2013026434.
Gr 5–8—April Sinclair's adventures in Faraway, Alabama, continue in this sequel to Can You Say Catastrophe?? (Darby Creek, 2013). Billy and April start eighth grade as boyfriend and girlfriend; April is back to being best friends with Brynn; and her grandmother Gaga has concocted the Happiness Movement, which April thinks is kind of cheesy, but a good idea overall. Things get complicated when April makes the high school dance team but Brynn doesn't. She befriends another teammate, and the distance between her and her former friends grows. Add in April's continued confusion about her feelings toward "hot" neighbor Matt Parker. Friedman has encapsulated middle school rather convincingly. The journal-style text conveys much more about April than it does about the supporting characters, so readers are often left wondering what they think about April's behavior. The protagonist isn't always likable, as she can be self-centered and not mindful of other's feelings, but her behavior and conversations with herself authentically echo that of many kids her age. Not necessarily a "squeaky-clean read," the novel is still tame and will satisfy the curiosity of younger teen and tween readers.—Amy Commers, South St. Paul Public Library, MN
April (Can You Say Catastrophe?) begins eighth grade with great news: she's selected for a highly coveted spot on the high school dance team. The team's grueling schedule, however, leads to hard feelings between April and her boyfriend, and her best friend. Readers will relate to April's struggle to maintain old friendships while forging new ones, and cheer for her as she navigates the aftermath of a bad romantic decision.

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