This was such a delightful relief after months of deep, sad, lyrical middle grade fiction. The cover is fantastic and shows how much fun the book is going to be. The page illustrations are helpful in getting readers of Wimpy Kid to pick this up. I loved Ben-- he meant well but occasionally did stupid things. His crush on Jayla is perfect, as is his eventual realization that there is a better girl for him. There are lots of good details about life in middle school. I just adored this one!
This is a fantastic choice for readers who love Peirce's Big Nate, Vance's The Heartbreak Messenger, or Richards' Stu Truly series. Books that are humorous and action packed but also showcase small middle school problems are always needed to help students make sense of their own middles school experiences. Definitely looking for future titles by this author.