Pri keeps sneaking her phone and is happy when summer camp ends, and she decides that they will have the Best Summer Ever 2.0 when they get back home- before she has to go on a family trip to India. When they return, they meet back up with their friend Victoria, but Cece enjoyed being screen-free and so is avoiding using their usual mode of communication (phones).
Gabby is obsessed with the summer camp photo album and how her pictures look, falling into the social media trap of comparisons, jealousy, and feelings of inadequacies. As the girls navigate their summer, evolving identities, and their upcoming school year, there is a lot for the middle grade audience to relate to and take away.
What I loved: This book series has such a unique setup that is really intriguing. Told mostly through texts (with plenty of text speech and emojis), but also through emails and handwritten notes, this book feels like you really get to peep into the BFFs lives. I also really enjoyed the messages about phone use and social media- how these can be fun but also harmful. The book moves quickly and so is a fun read for the middle grade crowd, who can empathize with these issues.
Final verdict: Overall, this is a delightful continuation of a cute series that will certainly appeal to the middle grade audience. With plenty of emojis and some great underlying messages about the power and problems of social media, this is a quick and fascinating read. Recommend for middle grade readers who are looking for something engaging and unique.