Thank you to Net Galley and TBR & Beyond for the E-ARC
About the Book
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary
Publishing date: March 28, 2023
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When you can choose to be anyone, how do you know who you really are? From the author of Better You Than Me and I Speak Boy comes another fun and relatable book about new experiences and how staying true to yourself is the best way to be okay.
Twelve-year-old Amelia Gray has changed schools thirty-nine times (!!!) because of her dad’s job, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for making friends. But that’s okay. Amelia loves her “life on the go” with Dad and their adorable supermutt, Biscotti. She’s been in enough middle schools to know that friendships are messy, and who needs that?
But when her dad announces that he wants to stay in their new town for the whole summer—maybe even forever—Amelia realizes she’s going to have to do the one thing she’s never had to do: fit in.
So she gives herself not one but three total makeovers, to try out a few personalities and hopefully find her “thing.” Is she Amie, a confident track star? Mellie, a serious journalist? Or Lia, a bold theater kid?
Juggling three identities is hard, and Amelia soon finds herself caught in the kind of friendship drama she has always managed to avoid. Yet despite her best efforts, she still can’t answer the most important question of all: Who is the real Amelia Gray?
“Some People Call Dad the Mary Poppins of Hotels. “
“If Dad can take a blank canvas and completely reinvent it with a whole new look and new personality (twice). Then Why can’t I do the same?”
“This time, however, instead of feeling helpless and overwhelmed, I feel inspired. “
“I said I’m sorry. I was just jealous of your voice and your talent. I didn’t mean to-.”
“She never went anywhere without Ellie… they were such good friends. Inseparable
“Eventually people have to choose what to do. Eventually, everyone has to find their thing, right?”
Rating:4.5 stars (8.71/10)
Amelia and the other characters in this book are why I wanted to keep reading. Each character was engaging, and I wanted to know the story each of them told. Everyone in this book had the thing they loved and the thing they were passionate about. While this was one of the reasons Amelia had to be in three places, and three different people her first summer in Summerville, it also was a way that she started building a community of her own in her new town. I loved all the characters in this book, and I found each of them charming. My favorite character was Amelia, however; I also really enjoyed Maren and Katerina because of our common interests.
I went into this story thinking it was going to be a Middle-Grade Novel about a girl moving to a new town, and trying to make friends before the school year started. After I finished Amelia Gray is Almost Okay, I discovered that story was about much more than that. On multiple levels, this story is about connections and bonds, and I loved all the connections in this novel. First, there was the connection between Amelia and her dad Jonas. I loved seeing the two of them bond as they traveled the country for Jonas’s work. Second, there was a connection between Amelia and the three girls she met at each of the activities she joined on her mission to find her thing. These connections were a bond and the start of a wonderful friendship between the girls. Third, there was a connection to Summerville in general, which you find out about as you read the story.
I’ve previously read Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1) by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell, this was my first time reading a solo story by Jessica Brody, and I will definitely be reading more. I loved the writing style of Amelia Gray is Almost Okay, and I felt it captures the Middle-Grade genre. The scenes where Amelia is with her friends early in the book are light and fun, and you can tell that the characters are having a great time. Throughout the book, and especially in the third act, there are some heavier scenes, and they handled these scenes with care, and in a way that a middle-grade reader would be able to relate to the characters because it reads as something that could happen to a friend group.
I loved this book a lot. I found it so fun, but some parts of the story were serious, and, as a whole, Amelia Gray is Almost Okay was a heartwarming story.
About the Author
Jessica Brody is the author of more than 20 novels for teens, tweens, and adults including The Geography of Lost Things, The Chaos of Standing Still, Amelia Gray is Almost Okay, A Week of Mondays, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, the Unremembered trilogy, and the System Divine trilogy which is a sci-fi reimagining of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, co-written with Joanne Rendell. She’s also the author of the #1 bestselling novel-writing guides, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel and Save the Cat! Writes a Young Adult Novel as well as several books based on popular Disney franchises like Descendants and LEGO Disney Princess. Jessica’s books have been translated and published in over 20 languages and several have been optioned for film and television. She’s the founder of the Writing Mastery Academy and lives with her husband and three dogs near Portland, OR.
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