Josephine is on her way to becoming a teenager. As if the mood swings and boys suddenly being cute isn’t enough, she now has to deal with her mother’s shocking news, her twin brother’s impulsive whims and her jealousy towards a best friend who seems to cope with everything so much better than Jose… If only you could go on crazy adventures while hiding under your covers!
When Josephine’s mother drops a breast cancer bomb on the family, Jose doesn’t know how to handle it. She has enough on her plate trying to keep up with her friends who suddenly wants to kiss boys and a twin brother, Chance, who’s popularity is completely incomprehensible. With teen hormones racing, her moods go up and down – giggling at lunch one minute and feeling like the world is crumbling around her the next. When Chance makes another impulsive move, this time dying his hair pink to support their mother, Josephine is wrecked with guilt. It seems, she’s more concerned about getting pitiful looks from her classmates than supporting her mother’s fight.
I had no idea what this book was going to bring to the table but it definitely exceeded my expectations. I know that the target group is younger (middle grade) but I can easily remember how scary the world felt when I was a teenager myself. Andrea Pyros describe the overwhelming feelings and dread in simple yet truly accurate words. Josephine’s character development is very interesting as well. It’s not an unrealistic awakening where she magically becomes the coolest girl in school overnight but a realistic pace that shows, she’s trying to move past her insecurities and become a better person.
It’s also nice to read a story where sickness has a big impact on people’s lives but isn’t the focal point of the story. We do get some info about the journey Josephine’s mother is taking – hospital visits for instance – but there’s more focus on the effect on the children than the disease itself.
This story is a quick read but one that stays with you for a few days. Yes, it’s middle grade and the writing style is simple but it is in no way dumbed down. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a touching contemporary story about family, friendship and growing up.
Page count: 257
Goodreads rating: 3,9/5
Expected publication date: February 1st 2019