Standalone. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (March 2016) NetGalley
The first month of school, thirteen-year-old Anna Collette finds herself...
DUMPED by her best friend Dani, who suddenly wants to spend eighth grade "hanging out with different people."
DESERTED by her mom, who's in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt.
TRAPPED in a house with her dad, a new baby sister, and a stepmother young enough to wear her Delta Delta Delta sweatshirt with pride.
STUCK at a lunch table with Shawna the Eyebrow Plucker and Sarabeth the Irish Stepper because she has no one else to sit with.
But what if all isn't lost? What if Anna's mom didn't exactly mean to leave her? What if Anna's stepmother is cooler than she thought? What if the misfit lunch table isn't such a bad fit after all? With help from some unlikely sources, including a crazy girl-band talent show act, Anna just may find herself on the road to okay.
Anna finds herself living with her dad, in his new home, with his new family after she finds her mom at the brink of death. Everything is turning out wrong all of a sudden. Her best friend decided they weren't going to be friends anymore, she has to live with her stepmom - perfect Marnie, and she constantly worries that her mom is going to try to kill herself again.
Well, I'm all cried out. This hit me pretty hard. If you can get me emotional with a book like Where You'll Find Me, you've hit me right on the target. Admittedly, I'm an emotional person but I couldn't find one flaw so this was a perfect read for me.
I really felt for Anna. I wish I had this book when I was a kid. There's this confusion you have when a parent is dealing with a mental illness. It just makes you so worried, especially as you grow up until you begin to understand how to process what's happening. You are worried you'll become them. It's a whole jumble of emotions that Friend was able to show through Anna.
Part of dealing with what's happening with her mom, Anna's anger with her dad and stepmom is another big part of Anna's story. New potential friends also come into the mix. I really loved Anna's stepmom. You knew she was trying with Anna and the situation. Her relationship over time with her was what made me really happy about this book. She didn't need anyone against her. Her new misfit crew were also a delight. Overall, I loved everything about this book and there should be more books like this accessible to kids who need them.