I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The views and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I finished this book in two days. I stayed up until 12:30 the first night reading it. The only reason that I went to sleep was because I had plans the next day.
This book starts off with best friends Julie (Main character) and Taylor (best friend) looking forward to meeting the new girl on the street (Alyssa). But as time goes on, the both develop very different feelings towards this girl. While Julie realizes that there is no way that they will ever become friends and get along (made all the worse by Alyssa's cruelty towards her), Taylor takes almost immediately towards the girl. Taylor sticks to her like glue, completely excluding Julia, but not truly understanding what she is doing.
Alyssa is an unpleasant character. She is sneaky, and mean, and just plain rude. She is an all around jerk. She insults people.... with jokes that can, on occasion be rather inappropriate. At least for middle schoolers like herself. On occasion she also used an impolite word or two. Thankfully I can't relate to having a friend like Alyssa. Alyssa brings with her a new kind of game, called Russia.
Apparently this is a real game, and I was ecstatic (no joke) to find instructions for it in the back of the book.
Julia makes it through, she meets a new friend and hangs out with the one other person who doesn't like Alyssa. This is Peter. Who also happens to be her crush. A huge part of the book is how she agreed to have a Russia competition against Alyssa.
I wanted Julia to win, I needed her to win. I wanted to know so badly that when I was at that part, I actually skipped a paragraph ahead to find out what happened.
This book was fantastic, and I would definitely recommend it. Because of Alyssa's character though, I would recommend it to older kids in this age group. It was a pleasant book, and as the author described it, it was 'a quiet book in an industry that is always looking for the loud ones.' That was not a direct quote. ;) Anyways, it was very good, and I never truly find books like this.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play Russia.
Oh! Here's the link to a Q/A I found on Youtube!
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