Mattie has a couple of dilemmas. First (sigh), her parents are making her babysit her humiliating younger brother nearly nonstop. What could BE more awful than the constant company of a 4-year-old brother who acts like a dog? Then, her best friend’s brother begins to show serious interest in her. Mattie thinks all her prayers have come true, that is, until her best friend Livvy stops returning her phone calls. Is this how a best friend should act? Will she have to choose between her best friend and a budding romance, and who should it be? A family crisis will force Mattie to make some difficult decisions. This very funny and very relatable story will appeal to broad swath of young teen girls.
Kiss, Kiss, Bark! by Kim Williams Justesen
Firstly: I thought this was a great book! But why am I reviewing a tween book, you ask?
Because I was doing some research into Middle Grade fiction, and as this one was freely available for anyone with a NetGalley account to download for review, I decided to go for it. With the childish cover I wasn’t expecting much, but I actually enjoyed it A LOT.
Kiss, Kiss, Bark! is very well-written, is entertaining, and I think it would appeal to a much broader audience than the childish pink princess cover would have you believing. It might be that I needed a break from my usual type of books, but I really did like this one.
Our female protagonist is a likeable teen, with a younger brother – a truly unique character – who drives her mad (but he’s very cute!). She has good friends, is crazy about her best friend’s older brother, and is so realistic it was really refreshing after reading a lot of romance. Middle Grade fiction isn’t scared to feature realistic kids.
There’s a little sweet and funny romance here, and this type of fiction comes with a happy ending, even though the book deals with some emotional issues. I loved that even when the friends run into problems over boys and other girls, nobody says anything misogynistic.
I liked the characterisation of the family members, and I liked that nobody was a stereotype.
Basically, I just liked it! If you enjoy Young Adult books, this one doesn’t read that much different. It’s a bit sweeter, but the excellent writing makes up for it for older readers.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.