Lessons I Never Learned At Meadowbrook Academy by Liz Maccie

Lessons I Never Learned At Meadowbrook Academy by Liz Maccie

Book Review:

When I read these teen-age angst stories I have a whole new appreciation for being done with that – especially when, as Liz Maccie writes, the emotion and angst all come back.

What is within the covers of this book is perfectly paced, raw, honest and utterly engaging with all of the issues that tweens and teens are experiencing, either personally or in the ‘friend of a friend’ sort of way.  And, as we see, just because you are in a school that is considered ‘for the privileged’ doesn’t leave you immune to these troubles.

Maccie takes risks with this story: it is one girl’s perspective that follows her during one day.  While you might wonder if the story feels rushed, or there isn’t time to show growth or perspective changes, the author hits you with one revelation after another, allowing the protagonist to realign and realize her mistakes and misjudgments.

Roberta is a new student in a new school, and she’s not particularly excited about the change. Not surprisingly, Roberta is immature but graces us with moments of unexpected adult clarity, able to laugh at the silliness, but then needs to ‘lie’ to avoid embarrassment. It’s an interesting juxtaposition that allows readers to see cliques, new friends, gossip, flirting, frank talk about sex and the varying effect that insecurities have on your day, interactions and reactions in a new place.

Most of the narration feels very apt and appropriate, with moments of clarity that almost feel too ‘mature’ for Roberta, but teens are very much that mix of little kid playing with dolls and the brash and fearless adult in training looking to take on the world.  The pacing leaves some unanswered questions – but this is, after all, only one day with an ending that was both unexpected and wholly satisfying.  For teens and tweens looking for a fast-paced story that will feel honest and real, this book fits the bill.

Lessons I Never Learned At Meadowbrook Academy by Liz Maccie

Title: Lessons I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy
Author: Liz Maccie
Genre: Teen Reads
Published by: Diversion Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 193
Rated: four-half-stars
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The most important lessons aren't learned in the classroom.

It’s the first day of sophomore year for Roberta Romano, but instead of the comfort of her local high school, she's been thrust into the elitist embrace of the affluent Meadowbrook Academy.

Surrounded by wealth, Roberta battles her own insecurities, as well as evil teachers and mean girls, to prove her worth and maybe land the boy of her dreams. With the help of two unlikely allies—​and an inflatable toy raft—​Robert embarks upon a journey of dark secrets and self-discovery to learn the true meaning of friendship and acceptance.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Liz Maccie

I grew up in West Orange, New Jersey. My mom was a school teacher, my dad a truck driver and my older brother was my best friend. And although my family was loud and seemed to yell a lot (in that Italian Jersey kind of way), we all loved each other very much. We ate pasta with a read sauce 6 nights a week. My mom always smelled of sweet perfume and Wet and Wild powder pink lipstick. And my dad always had a tinge of gasoline from his truck on his collar. We were a normal family.

And then it all changed.

Due to a series of family illnesses, I became a pretty messed up kid. I dealt with my hurt and pain through eating. Around 10, I became very overweight and from the ages of 11-14, I got into A LOT of trouble with fights and bad grades. By the time I was heading into high school, my parents knew I was headed in the wrong direction. So, they intervened.

They took on some extra debt to get me into the esteemed Newark Academy, my version of Meadowbrook Academy. I was convinced they were ruining my life. But then, on the first day of school, I met Kevin and Danielle (my Mervin and Annie). We all had braces and were so awkward. From that moment on we became best friends. And life started to feel hopeful again.

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