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.
Summer break is around the corner and the girls are eager to plan their time together. Somehow, though, in predictable fashion (the book is called 'TBH, Too Much Drama,' after all), a secret gets revealed that has Cece wondering just how she'll escape the embarrassment and torment that she is sure will befall her.
Best friends, games, food, community service, and more make up Spirit Week at Yorkville Middle School. Cece, Gabby, Prianka, Victoria, and some other friends use the week to try to come to terms with the end of the year, what's coming next, and the secrets that some of them fear will tear them apart. There is plenty of drama to go around, but also plenty of growth, truth, kindness, and compassion from a group of middle school students who often surprise themselves and each other by showing their worries are unfounded and that life can be much simpler if you take the time to just be yourself.
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.