Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Drum Roll, Please

35098024Bigelow, Lisa Jenn. Drum Roll, Please
June 26th 2018 by HarperCollins
E ARC provided by Edleweiss Plus

Melly and her best friend Olivia are attending Camp Rockaway, a music summer camp in the woods with a predilection for bad puns on their signage. Melly isn't very interested in the camp, especially since her parents announced their impending divorce right before she was supposed to leave them for two weeks! Melly likes drumming but doesn't live for it, and when she is assigned to a group and is not with Olivia, she doesn't see the point of camp. There are a lot of typical camp events-- meals, hikes through the woods, substandard bathroom facilities, and a boys camp on the other side of the camp. As Olivia makes new friends, Melly struggles with fitting in until she meets Adeline. She enjoys being with her, and before too long starts to realize that what she is feeling is a crush. She is not sure that Adeline feels the same way, but the two continue to hang out together, and eventually decide they like each other. Melly makes some peace with her parents, takes some musical risks, and is able to be comfortable with many different aspects of herself.
Strengths: Having attended a music camp in high school, the details about every day life (especially the rain!) are absolutely true to life. I've read more camp books lately, and they are always good to have. There are lots of fun characters in this book, and a subtle air of female empowerment, as evidenced through the music, that I really enjoyed. The crush and relationship are very organic and a part of a larger story, which is just what I've been waiting for. Enjoyed this a lot, and readers who liked Grosso's I am Drums will be glad to see another story centered around the evolution of a drummer.
Weaknesses: The story is slow at a few points, but since the book is short, it moves fairly quickly.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing a copy, and glad to have another LGBTQ+ title, because I have a lot of students ask for them. There is a growing imbalance in middle grade books, though, and I would like to see another title similar to Barakiva's One Man Guy.

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