Friday, June 22, 2018

Frazzled: Everyday disasters and impending doom by Booki Vivat

Abbie Wu is starting middle school. Her mom says it's the start of everything! But Abbie is pretty sure it's.... not. The thing is, she's always been in the middle of everything. The middle child, and now middle school? Nothing good happens in the middle.

Abbie is even more worried when she realizes that everyone - except her - seems to have a "thing". She's not interested in hobbies, sports, or, well, anything. Except maybe getting some better lunches. It's really unfair that the sixth graders have awful lunches and don't get to share in the good lunches of the upper grades. Abbie didn't mean to start anything, but suddenly discovers that, somehow, she's now the leader of a lunch revolution! Could this be her thing? Or is it just going to get her in even MORE trouble?

This notebook novel series from 2016 is still going strong, but I missed it originally and didn't end up purchasing it for the library. The main character is an Asian-American girl, which is a nice touch of diversity. There are lots of black and white illustrations, more cartoony than the stick figures that decorate many notebook novels, with lots of freaked out eyes, panicked waving arms, and moans of despair.

The drama is extreme in this one; from an adult point of view, one can see that a lot of it is generated by Abbie and she might be better served with some therapy or destressing techniques instead of her mom's "everything will be ok" stance. The weird cafeteria arrangements and antagonism between grades sounded odd to me, but maybe our school is unusual in that, so far as I've ever observed, the older grades are generally very helpful to the younger grades.

Verdict: If you need more notebook novels, this is an acceptable choice, but the extreme levels of anxiety made me feel a little meh about this one. Most of my readers stick to a few favorites - Dork Diaries and Wimpy Kid, and I prefer some of the other titles I've found to this one - Ellie McDoodle especially.

ISBN: 9780062398796; Published 2016 by Harper; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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