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.
Title: Lessons I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy
Author: Liz Maccie
Genre: Teen Reads
Published by: Diversion Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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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.