Sunday, May 06, 2018

Sunday Sundaes

36373214Simon, Coco. Sunday Sundaes (Sprinkle Sundays,#1)
May 1st 2018 by Simon Spotlight
ARC provided by publisher

Allie comes back from a great time at summer camp to find that her parents have completely upended her comfortable life. They are getting divorced, selling the house, moving a town over, her mother is quitting her job to open an ice cream parlor, and they are enrolling Allie in a new, fancy school! Allie was all set to run the school Book Fest at her old school, and will miss her friends Sierra and Tamiko, but she doesn't have much of a choice. She meets Blair, Palmer and Maria in her neighborhood, but they are not very nice to her, and on the first day, and Blair redirects Allie to the basement of the building. Luckily, she is saved by the friendly librarian, Mrs. K., who seems to know who Allie is and allows her to hang out in the library during lunch. Luckily, Allie is able to keep in fairly close contact with Sierra and Tamiko, and they hang out at the ice cream parlor a bit. Allie also meets Colin, who is a "kindred spirit" and works on the school newspaper. Allie and her friends work to make the opening of the ice cream parlor successful, and Allie realizes that her new life might work out okay.
Strengths: If cupcake books circulate well, then ice cream books should go out even more frequently, because I can't really think of another book (except maybe a WISH book) that has an ice cream parlor! This was a lot of fun, and Allie embraced the changes in her life as best she could. Her love of reading, the awesome Mrs. K., and working in the library are a bit unusual as well. The "long distance" relationship with Sierra and Tamiko is more possible today than it would have been in the past. A solid start to a new series.
Weaknesses: Allie carries around a copy of Anne of Green Gables with her. I was a huge fan... 40 years ago. It made me a weird kid then. Even with the Netflix series, I'm not seeing a lot of readers who really embrace Anne the way that older readers like myself did, so it made me sad. Also, if students want to run away from lunch, I alert the guidance counselors. The library is very busy, and if students can't handle the lunch room, they need more help than I can give them!
What I really think: Will purchase, since The Cupcake Diaries are popular. I'm sure I would have bought these with my babysitting money when I was in middle school. (The Anne books were given to me, in hardback, one per holiday!)

38746209Berk, Sheryl and Berk, Carrie. Ask Emma (Ask Emma Book 1) 
May 1st 2018 by Yellow Jacket
ARC provided by publisher

Emma loves to give advice to her friends, even if it doesn't work out (like the skunk-like highlights in her friend's hair!). When she decides to start an advice blog for her computer science project, she gets some advice and help setting it up from her teacher, Mr. Goddard. Her friends Harriet and Izzy are a little apprehensive, but Emma persists, even after people make rude comments about her blog. There isn't as much traffic as she would like, so she starts creating her own questions, not all of which work out the way she wants. New boy, Jackson, is rather intriguing and cute, but he isn't quite sure about the blog, either. Emma has a lot of missteps and has to apologize for many things, but has some triumphs, like getting the Spanish teacher to reduce the amount of homework. Eventually, she gets some traction, fine tunes her advice giving, and has a nice romance with Jackson.
Strengths: Emma's impetuous insistence that she can give advice, and her misguided attempts to do so, will amuse readers who like books with a lot of cringe-worthy embarrassment. Jackson is a fun character, and definitely crush worthy, but his relationship with Emma has a great feeling of equality. Harriet and Izzy are good foils for Emma's antics, and I was especially fond of her family. The information about cyber bullying was a good inclusion. This is nice, light reading for fans of realistic series fiction such as these authors' The Cupcake Club, Taylor's Sew Zoey books, and Simon's The Cupcake Diaries.
Weaknesses: Between the mentions of Zac Efron being cute (he's 31) and the whole idea of a blog being something that would interest middle grade students, this feels like a book written ten years ago that got dusted off and resubmitted.
What I really think: Will pass on purchase. It just seems already very dated.

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