TBH, Too Much Drama (TBH, #3)
Cece, Gabby, and Prianka can’t wait for Spirit Week, aka the last week of school before summer break! And they’re already making plans for the best summer ever—including a friends-only camping trip, plenty of pool time, and a top-secret shared notebook.
But between Pajama Day and pizza parties, Gabby accidentally leaks Cece’s most embarrassing secret to the whole school in a meme that goes viral. Half the squad thinks it’s no big deal, but Cece needs a time-out from all the drama—even if that means taking a break from her best friends.
approachable contemporary middle grade
TBH, TOO MUCH DRAMA is a short book that primarily takes place over texts, but also has some emails, essays, journal articles, and passed notes. The core BFFs, Cece, Gabby, and Prianka are excited for the end of their middle school year. They are also carrying their worries in their group messages. Mainly, they are nervous about turning in their school computers which may have some personal data, bra shopping with their mothers, and memes they created that have gone viral and hurt the people they referred to. Some of the girls are also dealing with crushes- and one with something more challenging- her crush is on another girl.
What I loved: The fun format moves quickly and readers can quickly engage with the unique style of the book. With the plotlines included, this is a great and thought-provoking book for the middle grade audience. For instance, when we do things we think are funny (like memes), do we consider the consequences? It also shows how easily/quickly something like that can go viral. There’s also some good diversity amongst the girls who are budding into adolescence, and this also carries some helpful messages for preteens.
What left me wanting more: The challenge in reading this book is that a lot of it is in emojis and textspeak (abbreviations). While I knew most of them, there were a couple that had me flipping to the key at the end, which breaks up the flow of the book. This is a minor thing, as I assume the middle grade audience will know all of these even more quickly than I did.
Final verdict: This fast middle grade read is perfect for young audiences who will relate to the problems of the best friends and give pause as to what we put out there in the virtual world. With some other great themes (LGBT, personal reflections), this book speaks to middle grade readers in a highly approachable way. Great for people looking for unique formats and fun contemporary fiction.