Thank you to the #kidlitexchange network for the free review copy of this book – all opinions are my own.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
The night of the sixth-grade dance is supposed to be perfect for Maddie; she’ll wear her beautiful new dress, she’ll hit the dance floor with her friends, and her crush, Avery, will ask her to dance. Most importantly, she’ll finally leave her tiny elementary school behind for junior high. But as the first slow song starts to play, her plans crumble. Avery asks someone else to dance instead–and then the power goes out. Huddled in the gym, Maddie and her friends are stunned to hear that a tornado has ripped through the other side of town, destroying both Maddie’s and Avery’s homes.
Kind neighbors open up their home to Maddie’s and Avery’s families, which both excites and horrifies Maddie. Sharing the same house . . . with Avery? For the entire summer? While it buys her some time to prove that Avery made the wrong choice at the dance, it also means he’ll be there to witness her morning breath and her annoying little brother. Meanwhile, she must search for her beloved dog, who went missing during the tornado. At the dance, all she wanted was to be more grown-up. Now that she has no choice, is she ready for it?
One thing that stood out to me during my reading of this book was Maddie’s maturity level. Yes, she had plenty of 12-year-old moments, but she also had plenty of moments when she took the time to think about how her actions and words were affecting others. She thought about what she should do to make those situations right. And she did them. I was really impressed with her as a character.
So what else did I love about this book? Everything. The relationships between Maddie and her family were heartwarming, and her friendships felt realistic. My heart broke for her as she mourned her missing dog, Hank, and then I laughed along when she was caught performing Taylor Swift karaoke. This book was such a treat to read. I’d recommend it to fans of realistic fiction who also enjoy some good emotional scenes throughout.
Highly recommend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Book stats: Hardcover, 288 pages, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, June 13, 2017