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|Well, that was awkward|
Author: Vail, Rachel
There are unexpected consequences when thirteen-year-old Gracie sends texts pretending to be her bashful best friend, Sienna, and their friend Emmett starts texting back pretending to be shy A.J.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 187661
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 70395
School Library Journal (00/12/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2016 Gr 5–8—A modern, multicultural version of Cyrano de Bergerac. Gracie Grant, a tall eighth grader who has a prominent nose and hails from New York City, takes the lead as the Cyrano stand-in. Gracie's best friend, Sienna Reyes, needs help texting the boy who likes her, the handsome AJ Rojanasopondist. Unbeknownst to Gracie and Sienna, AJ gets help in responding to the texts from the witty but vertically challenged Emmett Barnaby. In addition, Gracie is coming to terms with the lifelong effects of losing a sibling. Bret, her sister, died in an accident before Gracie was born. Gracie's parents are understandably a bit overprotective, and she often wonders how her life would be different if Bret had lived. She is also facing the standard middle school angst: Is she pretty enough? Why isn't she as popular as other kids? Will a boy ever like her? The protagonist and her friends represent a variety of middle schoolers: a mean girl, a bullied kid, a sporty kid, a smart kid, the popular group, and outsiders. Yet Vail's portrayals prevent the characters from being mere stereotypes. Even Gracie's parents are fully formed, not the typically clueless adults who populate many books for kids. Readers will see themselves in Gracie and her friends, root for them, and likely figure out who is actually texting whom before the characters do, even if they haven't read the source material. VERDICT This tween romance proves that some stories stand the test of time, even with modernization.—Cindy Wall, Southington Library & Museum, CT - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2017 Gracie knows that her job is to keep her parents happy, to be the sunshine they lost when her sister, Bret, died at seven years old, three years before Gracie was born. Perpetual cheerfulness is hard, though, when she’s hit upside the heart by the hormones that come with being almost fourteen. Suddenly, one of her best friends, AJ, makes her knees feel funny, and she’s thinking more and more about Bret. When she learns, through her best male friend Emmett, that AJ actually likes Gracie’s best girl friend, Sienna, Gracie becomes Sienna’s texting Cyrano, feeding her witty remarks that are met with equally witty comebacks by AJ, which makes Gracie’s heart hurt even more. While she tries to maintain her peppy, affirmative self-talk, she feels second best, both with her friends and her parents, which leads her to miss the fact that she has been, and always will be, first and only in Emmett’s heart. As per her usual blend of energy, wit, and genuine emotion, Vail has created a story that is at once delightfully gossipy, playfully ironic, and deeply moving. The poignancy comes as Gracie proceeds through the welter of emotions that accompany survivor guilt and a longing for a sister she’s never really known, which of course complicates the idea that she even has a right to grieve for her. Gracie has a quality passel of friends, but the real star of the Gracie show is Emmett, who is just simply perfect-a witty Cyrano in his own right as well as the steady anchor through Gracie’s storms. Readers will thus be thoroughly happy if unsurprised when Emmett, lost and found like his emotional analogue, Gracie’s pet tortoise, finally wins the race to Gracie’s heart. KC - Copyright 2017 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 01/01/2017 Eighth-grader Gracie is certain that she likes A.J., but when she learns he likes her best friend, Sienna, she goes all out to help the two get together. She texts him on Sienna’s phone for her as if she were Sienna, and she consults with Emmett, A.J.’s best friend and her neighbor. Emmett and Gracie have been best buds since they were little, and there’s nothing they won’t do for each other. But when Gracie turns 14, she’s not certain if she can handle some of the shifts and changes that begin to take place. This modern, middle-school retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac is heartwarming, funny, and tender, offering a story of young love and loyalty, friendship and family. Characters are pitch-perfect for middle-school musings and milieu: a whirlwind of activity and emotional confusion that is the bane and fuel of any early teen’s existence. Call it cute, call it clever—Vail fluently captures the spirit of today’s American middle-schoolers. See Kristina Springer’s Cici Reno (2016) for another tween take on Cyrano. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.