Friends, usually I try to group books of similar themes for similar age groups in my reviews. But today, in the effort to get some reviews out where you can see them, I am just putting out a teen book and a middle grade book together rather than waiting for good companion books to come along. They’re both realistic, both have important sister relationships, and I really enjoyed them both, so there’s that.
Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things
by Maya Prasad
Read from a library copy.
Ebook available through Libby.
Rani Singh is a romantic. Living in her family business, the Songbird Inn, off the Washington Coast, with three other teen sisters would seem to be the perfect setting for the perfect romance – except that it hasn’t happened yet. But as the seasons turn over the course of a year, each of her sisters does find romance, something that both makes their hearts sing and brings out their truest selves. Oldest sister Nidhi had her whole life after high school planned out – pastry school in Paris with her long-term boyfriend – but after a tree crashes into her bedroom, she’s suddenly ready for a change. Rani’s twin Avani feels like she’s the only one who’s unable to move on since their father’s long-term boyfriend, Pop, died three years earlier – but planning to run his signature Winter Ball again just might bring her the closure she needs -as well as bringing her closer to the boy she won’t admit she likes more than any other. Shy Sirisha usually tells stories through her camera lens and has trouble talking to people – but a beautiful young actress with a resident theater company might just push her to expand both her photographic and her spoken vocabulary. And Rani might have had her heart broken the summer before – but that won’t stop her from letting all the cute boys try to woo her this summer – even if it doesn’t go the way she planned!
The romances are sweet – including a new romance for Dad Singh – and the sisters bond more with each other, their island community, and even get to know the family their father left behind in India. This is a perfect sweet treat for any time of the year.
Figure it Out, Henri Weldon by Tanita S. Davis
Read from a library copy.
Ebook and audiobook available through Libby.
Henri Weldon is starting 7th grade at regular public school for the first time, leaving the special education school behind. It’s the same building as the high school, but her formerly close older sister Kat won’t give her any tips. Until, that is, Henri befriends four siblings who don’t look anything alike – and then Kat yells at her. But if Kat won’t tell her what’s wrong, Henri isn’t about to stop being friends with the only people who’ve reached out to her just because they’re all foster kids. Vinnie, for example, was the first friendly person she met in the overwhelming school cafeteria, makes a great math tutor, and is devoted to his pet rat – Henri, with a beloved pet snake, sympathizes with his love of his less popular pet. Ana encourages Henri to try out for the soccer team, which she is excited to do, though her family is not sporty and would prefer she focus on academics.
There is so much to love about this book! Dyscalculia is of course a real problem, and one I’ve never seen a book about before. But Tanita does a great job of making Henri a fully-rounded person, still figuring out what she might be good at outside of that issue, as well as dealing with things like siblings, pets, sports, and adjusting to a new school. As with her Peas and Carrots, Tanita includes foster kids, an important and under-represented population.
This is an engaging book that deserves a wide audience.
🌻Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.🧮
I really did! Thank you so much writing it!