Rivers, Karen. The Girl in the Well is Me.
March 15th 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
When Mandy, Kandy and Sandy take Kammie out into the desert and have her stand on a wooden board and sing as part of the "initiation", Kammie falls into an abandoned well. While she is stuck there, she reflects on why she thought it was important to befriend these particular girls even though they are not nice to her, and remembers some of the other unfortunate incidents involving them (haircuts, sleepovers, etc.). On top of her problems with these "mean girls", Kammie is also dealing with moving to a new town because her father is in prison, having embezzled money from his company. This has caused all sorts of changes for Kammie, her mother, and her brother Robby.
Strengths: Oddly intriguing. I was a third of the way through before I realized that not much had happened but I was still riveted. This is well-paced, alternating Kammie's experience in the well with her problems at home, and has a hopeful feel to it. This had many sad elements, but they were handled well. Don't know that I would describe it as "hilarious".
Weaknesses: I could have done without the hallucinations. There aren't many descriptions of them, but they somehow slowed down the story.
What I really think: This is one of those books that teachers and librarians will adore and want to use for class read-alouds, and certainly it is a brilliant choice for that. I'm debating purchase because the cover isn't great, and adds another layer of resistance when hand-selling this one.