Sunday, December 23, 2018

Cotton Candy Wishes

Springer, Kristina. Cotton Candy Wishes
January 8th 2019 by Sky Pony
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Taylor throws an exquisitely planned, cotton candy themed birthday party, invites all of the students in her grade... and no one but her best friend comes. Crushed, especially after she overhears other girls calling her attempts lame and desperate, Taylor isn't even comforted by her small group of three friends. When she gets home, she finds out that her family has to move two hours away for her father's job. She doesn't want to leave, but feels she has little to lose. She and her friends research the latest fashions and best way to act to be popular, and Taylor heads off to her new school determined to make things different. Luckily, they are, and she attracts the attention of the popular Elle, as well as a boy whom Elle thinks would be good for Taylor. Soon, Taylor is surrounded by other popular students, makes the cheerleading team, and is exhausted by the effort it takes to stay in the social whirl. To complicate matters, she has a lot in common with kind, math-minded Colin, but he has run afoul of Elle and is a persona non grata. Taylor has to decide if she wants to continue to be popular or stay true to the person she really is.
Strengths: Why popularity is so important to middle school students, I don't know, but it is definitely a thing. And yes, I tried out for the cheerleading squad in middle school. Again, no explanation. Certainly didn't make it! Taylor's angst is all completely true to life, and her friendship with Colin is sweet. Bonus points for her being a mathlete- both my daughters ended up in math related fields!
Weaknesses: This is my favorite sort of book to read, and after going through thousands of titles spanning seven decades, I still live in hope of a twist. Elle has a secret crush on Colin. Anything other than mean girl, being true to yourself, etc. Not Springer's fault; just the way of the world. Middle school readers on their tenth book like this will not notice!
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. These are wildly popular, if possibly a passing trend. (I'm still bitter the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies don't circulate quite as well as they did... ten years ago!) Still, they'll see heavy use.
Ms. Yingling

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