Finished Out of Place by Jennifer Blecher. I received a copy for review.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“Jennifer Blecher’s debut novel is a voice-driven story about bullying, friendship, and self-reliance that hits the sweet spot for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Erin Entrada Kelly’s You Go First.
Twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein’s year has gone from bad to worse. First, her best friend, Nina, moved from Martha’s Vineyard to New York City. Then, without Nina around, Cove became the target of a bullying campaign at school. Escape seems impossible.
But opportunities can appear when you least expect them. Cove’s visit to a secondhand clothing store leads her to a surprising chance to visit Nina, but only if she can win a coveted place in a kids-only design competition. Cove doesn’t know how to sew, but her friend at the retirement home, Anna, has promised to teach her. And things start really looking up when a new kid at school, Jack, begins appearing everywhere Cove goes.
Then Cove makes a big mistake. One that could ruin every good thing that has happened to her this year. One that she doesn’t know how to undo.
Jennifer Blecher’s accessible and beautifully written debut novel explores actions and consequences, loneliness, bullying, and finding your voice. This voice-driven friendship story is for fans of Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger and Jodi Kendall’s The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City. ”
I love Cove so much and I could relate to her story. My best friend also moved away when we were about that age, and as the person left behind in a small town while your best friend moves to a city, I can tell you that it sucks.
It’s made worse for Cove because she’s not particularly popular (most kids leave her alone, but these four popular girls seem to have it in for her and it’s for no real reason, which makes it even harder) and so now she has a lot of free time and not much to do to fill it.
This is a sweet middlegrade about accepting yourself and finding your people. Recommended.