It’s hard to calculate just how much the Clique series by Lisi Harrison has influenced my personality, but I suspect it’s a LOT. And so when I saw she had a new middle-grade book coming out, I knew I had to pick up an ARC of Girl Stuff, which is on sale everywhere February 2, 2021–the most popular book publication date this year, I swear.
Three nesties–neighbor best friends–are about to start middle school at Poplar Middle School (PMS) but they all have their own obstacles to overcome as 7th grade begins. Fonda wants to be popular–she wants to MATTER, like her older sisters mattered. Drew’s got her eye on a cute boy she met at camp who also likes to skateboard. And Ruthie wants to keep her friendships intact while still challenging her mind in the uber-tightknit gifted and talented program. But there’s popular girls, and new lunch schedules and the usual perils of middle school and friendships being stressed, so what’s a girl to do? It all culminates at the first boy-girl party of the year, and each of the girls will have to figure out how she wants to prioritize her life and what she’s willing to do–and not do–for her friends.
Overall, I thought this was a cute book! It’s definitely a lot “nicer” than the Clique series without totally forgetting that middle school is WILD and mean girls exist, but maybe not as much as you think.The financials of this book are a LOT more relatable for kids these days, but it’s still got a fun “fantasy” element to the friendship. I LOVED the character of Ruthie, the gifted one, and was really impressed with the different parenting/family styles the characters had. It’s your typical middle grade book–the stakes aren’t ever that high, girls make mistakes and are weirdly obsessed with the idea of their periods, but it’s a good read! I gave it 4 stars and will def rec it to middle school girls in my library.
Girl Stuff is on sale everywhere February 2, 2021