Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network for the free review copy of his book – all opinions are my own.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Sunny Beringer hates her first name—her real first name—Sunflower. And she hates that her mom has suddenly left behind her dad, Scott, and uprooted their family miles away from New Jersey to North Carolina just so she can pursue some fancy degree. Sunny has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, and she’s had to leave her beloved cat and all her friends behind. And no one else seems to think anything is wrong.
So she creates “Sunny Beringer’s Totally Awesome Plan for Romance”—a list of sure-fire ways to make her mom and Scott fall madly in love again, including:
Send Mom flowers from a “Secret Admirer” to make Scott jealous and make him regret letting them move so far away.
Make a playlist of Scott’s favorite love songs—the mushier the better—and make sure it’s always playing in the car.
Ask them about the good old days when they first fell in love.
But while working on a photo album guaranteed to make Mom change her mind and rush them right back home, Sunny discovers a photo—one that changes everything.
Sunny’s family, the people she thought she could trust most in the world, have been keeping an enormous secret from her. And she’ll have to reconcile her family’s past and present, or she’ll lose everything about their future.
I think young readers will take a lot away from this one. Sunny is a shining example (no pun intended) of the vulnerability that comes with this age and growing up and adjusting to a changing family dynamic. She attempts to get her family back together using some interesting plans of attack, and in the process she makes some mistakes. But those mistakes opened the door for conversations within her family and circle of friends, and I think seeing that entire cycle play out in this book has the potential to be really important for young readers.
Overall I really enjoyed Sunny and her creative ideas and her spunk. I enjoyed her struggles and her vulnerability, too, because it was relatable. This was a great bit of realistic fiction that I hope gets added to a lot of to-read lists.
Highly recommend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Book stats: Hardcover, 272 pages, Sky Pony Press, May 16, 2017