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The friendship connection between Ella and Maria was fun and captured their juvenile personalities.
Ella’s relationship with her dad was strange and not fully convincing.
The backstories should be rewritten and edited; it felt clunky and was unappealing.
Plot twists were created out of thin air (Mr Hartford?) and then we have more on the spot back stories.
I’ve enjoyed MG books in the past (and recent past, since I’ve listened to a stream of them) but this one not too much. Although I was amazed at the various ethnicity of these young characters. Collectively, they had separate attitudes and tones; separately it felt kind of bland.
As a possible first novel, it’s better than most. I wouldn’t highly recommend it, but it’s good enough for others to pick it up for a lazy day read. It’s good enough to stay on my shelf; I’m not returning it for a credit on Audible.
Elizabeth Phillips was an excellent narrator with her multiple voices and accents.