Sometimes getting grounded is the first step to freedom, especially when you’re using bad ideas to guide your path.
Edith and her quirky, offbeat family travel to Florida for the summer after the passing of her grandmother Petunia. Though she never met her grandma, she feels an odd kinship with the nontraditional woman, especially after finding Petunia’s old list of goals, which comes with a warning: “Not for the Fainthearted!!!” Feeling abandoned by her back-home friend, Taylor, and lost in her family dynamic—overprotective mother, wannabe cool dad, and obnoxious, genius younger twin siblings, she is desperately in need of an identity of her own. Preferably one that does not include “boring” as a description, a moniker she overheard at a recent social gathering where Taylor was accepted but she was not. Renaming herself Edie and working with her almost-famous cousin Rae (she’s acted in commercials) for the summer as the family repairs Petunia’s old house to sell forces the reluctant dare-taker to want to push her limits. However, a mishmash of lies and half-truths between Edie and Rae threatens to destroy their budding friendship. Through Edie’s candid voice, Stewart pens a bright, funny gem that charms with its spot-on sarcasm and wit. Readers will appreciate the clever way she re-creates the awkwardness of trying to figure yourself out.
This middle-grade friendship book makes a fun, quick read. (Fiction. 8-12)