10 Steps to Girlfriend Status (Bird Face book two)
This is actually the second book in Cynthia Toney’s Birdface series, but you don’t have to read the first book to enjoy this wonderful YA novel. I actually read this one first but found the characters so intriguing I had to pick up the first book, 8 Notes to a Nobody, to find out more about the characters. I loved that this novel was about a regular girl who faces real issues – misunderstandings with friends, complexities of blended families, difficulties with aging loved ones and complicated feelings of a new relationship. Toney expertly blends all of this around an intriguing family mystery which makes the story even more compelling. This is the kind of book so many parents search for – a thoroughly enjoyable wholesome story with issues that teen readers can relate to.
Having read 8 Notes to a Nobody, I was eager to continue Wendy's story, and this book does not disappoint. The author has managed to reconnect with her 14 year old emotions. They all ring true! As with the first book, this story goes beyond the problems of being a girlfriend and tackles realistic, serious problems that many young people will face: blended families, effects of divorce, family tragedy, and serious illness. There are some great discussion questions at the end which keep the reader thinking long after the last satisfying page of the story is read!
Lovely Tale About Young Teen Relationships
10 Steps to Girlfriend Status is a lovely tale about a young teen (freshman in high school) who is learning how to manage her many changing relationships. First, she's hoping her guy friend will become more than just a friend. Second, her mom has just remarried, so she's figuring out how to be part of a blended family, complete with a stepdad, stepsister, and stepbrother. Third, her surrogate grandmother who lived next door to her old house is developing Alzheimer's.
As someone who recently lost her mother, I found this last changing relationship the most emotionally moving. While my mother didn't have Alzheimer's, it's never easy to see someone you love lose their grip on life. Cynthia Toney does a lovely job handling this difficult topic.
Parents, this is a "clean" read for your young teen. It has a light faith element in the story, but definitely nothing overly preachy. A very enjoyable read.