Shug

Finished Shug by Jenny Han.

Summary (from Goodreads):

SHUG

is clever and brave and true (on the inside, anyway). And she’s about to become your new best friend.

Annemarie Wilcox, or Shug as her family calls her, is beginning to think there’s nothing worse than being twelve. She’s too tall, too freckled, and way too flat-chested. Shug is sure that there’s not one good or amazing thing about her. And now she has to start junior high, where the friends she counts most dear aren’t acting so dear anymore — especially Mark, the boy she’s known her whole life through. Life is growing up all around her, and all Shug wants is for things to be like they used to be. How is a person supposed to prepare for what happens tomorrow when there’s just no figuring out today?”

This is a seriously amazing book.  It reminds me a lot of old-school Judy Blume, and Shug (or Annemarie) is a worthy successor to my beloved Margaret.

All Annemarie wants is for everything to stay the same, but things are changing all around her.  Her sister and her best friend have both gotten boyfriends, and so she feels like she’s being left behind.  And she has feelings for her best guy friend, Mark, except he doesn’t seem to like her that way…or any way, really; he’s been ditching her a lot lately to hang with his guy friends.

Things are made even worse by the fact that her dad is gone almost all the time, her mom clearly has a drinking problem and probably some undiagnosed depression issues and her sister is reacting to this by staying gone as much as possible.  Annemarie seems to be holding everything together by herself, and that’s a lot for a 12-year-old to deal with.

This is a fantastic book.  Highly recommended.

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