Freaky in Fresno
Ricki has one goal: save the Starlight Drive-in movie theater from going dark forever. Okay, make that two goals … she may also want a first kiss from her cinema-rescuing partner and major crush, Jake. Lana definitely has only one goal: grow her online makeup channel to keep her momager off her back, even if the posts attract ugly internet trolls.
The two cousins couldn’t be more different, but their opposite personalities come crashing to a head when their aunt gifts the girls a vintage cotton-candy-pink convertible. To share. Ricki wants the convertible for the drive-in’s grand reopening, but it’s the same day as Digifest, a huge event where Lana needs to shine. After a major fight and a minor electric shock while wrestling over the wheel, Ricki wakes up as Lana, and Lana wakes up as Ricki.
Ricki and Lana have only a day to un-Freaky Friday themselves, a task made even more difficult as they try to keep up appearances on Lana’s channel and with Ricki’s hopefully-soon-to-be-kissed crush. But it turns out experiencing a day as each other—with a mini road trip and Chihuahua wrangling—may be the one thing that help the cousins see each other and themselves more clearly.
Or, at least, that's the way things seemed to Ricki, who is really focusing on helping the drive-in movie theatre she adores stay afloat. She misses Lana, but she is not going to waste her time on someone who is so different than the BFF she used to know. When their other aunt, May (their mothers and aunt are named April, May, and June in birth order), offers to buy them the pink convertible that has always been an important part of the sisterhood in their family on the condition that they share it and spend time together in it, they end up taking the offer, reluctantly on Ricki's part.
However, when they are fighting over who will get to take it for an epic Friday night when Ricki's movie theatre will be reopening after a full summer of work and Lana's makeup channel will be having an important appearance at digifest, they feel a zap and wake up the next morning in the other one's body. By this exchange, they learn big/deep truths about the life of the other and end up becoming closer than ever... but how will they switch back?
What I loved: One of the most powerful representations is about mental illness (not quite named as such) of the anxiety/depression faced by Lana. This was really strong. I would have appreciated if a therapist or other help could have also come into play, but just having the descriptors and presence in the book can be helpful. The plot ends up being much deeper than anticipated, and it is overall a fun read with all the anticipated comedy and even some more thought-provoking elements about online commenting and mental health.
Final verdict: Overall, this is a fun YA contemporary comedy that presents a fresh, new FREAKY FRIDAY plot and stresses the importance of family and having an emotional support network to help you.