In the eighth and final book in the Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair series, the eponymous character turns 15, finishes up ninth grade, and has the entire summer to look forward to.
She’s going to get her learner’s permit, and she’s on her way to becoming Leo’s girlfriend. However, as always, April’s life consists of sour as well as sweet: Gaga, her grandmother, dies; she and her former bestie, Brynn, are still not speaking; and her newer best friend, Sophie, is moving. As April, the eldest of three sisters (the younger two are named May and June), tries to make sense out of the mysteries of adolescent life, she invokes Gaga’s wisdom to guide her. She’ll need to learn that things don’t always turn out the way she planned; sometimes they work out in another, positive way. April’s biggest strength lies in her ability to see when she’s wrong, acknowledge her mistakes, and offer an apology when one is due. Her first-person narration via diary is matter-of-fact; she’s neither quirkily clever nor overly dry. Readers need not be familiar with the previous seven books, but they may be able to more fully appreciate April’s ups and downs if they are. None of the characters seem to be anything other than white.
Short, sweet, and to the point. (Fiction. 11-14)