Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Still a Work in Progress by Jo Knowles-- Made Me Love Older MG!!

Noah is surviving Middle School with his 2 best friends- Ryan and Sam.  Unfortunately, they've both gone girl crazy and won't stop bickering with each other.  At least he has art class and the growing acknowledgements of his talent.  

At home his older sister has been forcing him to be a Vegan, which he goes along with because it's part of the Thing We Don't Talk About in his family.  When things really blow up, Noah's hope for a peaceful year goes up in flames as he's hit an emotional wall and can't get himself to care about anything, especially stupid Middle School gossip.

I don't really read older MG, but when I saw that Jo Knowles had a new book I really wanted to read it no matter what age group it involved.  What I learned was, I LOVE reading about MG boys!!  If they're all like Noah, Ryan, and Sam, I could read about them non-stop.  They're so funny and self-conscious, and just how I would picture boys going through that awkward age range would be.

My Fave Parts: The friendship between the boys.  It wasn't 3 Musketeers-- they got on each other's nerves, they fought, they ignored each other.... but when it really came down to it, they had each other's backs.  And there were a few moments between Noah and Ryan that warmed my heart because I think they fell out of the typical boy friendship "rules" (you know-- where you can't hug each other, sleep in the same bed at sleepovers, do nice things like buy presents for each other-- and other stupid stuff males do to act like they aren't emotional beings).  I also LOVED the school they went to.  It was quirky and non-traditional, and I kind of wish I went to a school like that.  Also they had a cat at the school!!  And it was allowed to just wander and do it's own thing!!  Okay, I'm not really a fan of hairless cats, but how could I not love Curly and her outfits that changed everyday??  I spent most of the book terrified that for some reason Curly would have to leave the school... I just loved her so much, I wanted her to stay!!

I thought this book was adorably cute while also being serious when it needed to be.  And I would put this up there with my favorite YA Contemporary books.  Only thing is.... I felt the ending was kind of forced.  I mean there's this big ISSUE that happens, and Noah and his family kind of go through some major breakdowns, and then it seemed like nothing really changed except Noah decided "Okay, I'm done with it".  I didn't really care for that especially since his parents (you know, the ones who should be setting the example) were not coping well and NOT fixing it.  But other than that bit of glossing over, I really found this unputdownable.

PS-- I totally have my kid saying "Who's to say?" whenever someone asks him about something (it's what Ryan says to his teachers when he doesn't want to answer a question).

OVERALL: LOVED reading Middle Grade from Jo Knowles.  I knew if I stuck it out with this author it would pay off.  I love this one and Read Between the Lines.  It's so readable, adorable, cute, funny, but also about some heavier issues.  I would recommend this to anyone for pretty much any reason.

Date Published: 8/2/2016
How I got this book: Thanks to Candlewick Press for providing me with an ARC copy to read and honestly review.
Publisher: Candlewick Press

Add it to your To-Read List!!

This Book Contains:
  • A hairless cat who wears clothes
  • Quirky school
  • Art- mostly with clay
  • Friendship
  • Middle School dances-- remember those??
  • First boyfriends/girlfriends
  • Something called Tofurky and Seitan
  • A farting dog named "The Captain"
  • Lord of the Flies

My Rating: 5/5

Character: Noah
Book: Sleeping Freshman Never Lie by David Lubar

  • I feel like Noah would relate to Scott in so many ways.  They're both really bright kids with artistic talents (Noah's is art and Scott's is writing), family problems, friendship drama, and each has their own traumatic event to deal with.  Plus, Noah would love Scott's humorous voice.

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  1. I don't read MG either, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one! It seems like a fun book! I love how you recommended a book to one of the characters at the end! :)

    1. Thank you!! I love rec-ing books, so I thought why not?? This was a really cool book. Definitely what I needed at this time.

  2. i so adore this author and I didn't even know about this book. How did I not know about this book. *bangs head on desk* I must get. Great review makes me want it even more! love a good friendship in books espcially with boys. We dont get to see that much!

    1. You must get!!! It's so cute and serious at the same time :)

  3. I never read MG but I mean how can I pass on one that sounds as good as this!

    1. It's really good and heavy on the friendship theme which I love :)