Genre: YA Contemporary
Recommended Age: 16+ (mature scenes, alcohol abuse, some slightly triggering scenes)
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book – all opinions are my own.
“That girl is such a mess.” “Why can’t she be like her sisters?”
Blah, blah, blah. That’s all Mia Campbell-Richardson ever hears. From her parents, her teachers, and her never-do-wrong older sister, Grace.
So what if she parties too hard and studies too little? Who cares if she tends to end up with the wrong guys or says the wrong things at the wrong times? She’s still a good friend (except when she isn’t). And she still knows the way things should go (except when they don’t).
When Grace comes home with shocking news, Mia hopes that it’s finally Grace’s turn to get into trouble. But instead it’s Mia whose life spirals out of control.
So if you’ve ever said something you later regretted (likely), accidentally broken a friend’s heart (possibly), or ruined a wedding in spectacular fashion (hopefully you haven’t), All About Mia will make you laugh, cry, cry-laugh, and laugh-cry in recognition that life is sometimes most entertaining when it’s at its most unfair. – Amazon.com
I’ve never had the joy of experiencing human siblings (although I am the older sister to tons of cats and dogs!). So going into this book I felt a bit scared that I wouldn’t be able to understand what Mia would feel since she is the middle child of 3 children all together. However my fears were quickly calmed when I read this fun book! I instantly became absorbed in Mia’s life and issues and I was so invested in her wellbeing. I credit this to how wonderfully well the book was written and how easy of a read it was (I read it in one day!). Not only did I feel invested in Mia’s life, but I also felt that most of the other characters were very well developed and were wrote so realistically. The plot is very well developed as well and it naturally comes about. The struggles that Mia goes through fill so natural and feel like something that could happen to a middle child and a teenage girl. I also want to praise the author on the diversity of the book and that the author used a realistic teen in her book. I feel that I read a lot of books about teen girls in which they seem so perfect. I actually have a term for this. I call it the Moana character because in my opinion Moana was perfect. She did the island duties and did everything her parents wanted, the only thing she did wrong was that she wanted to go explore the ocean beyond the reef. And because of that she felt like she wasn’t the perfect daughter. Coming from someone who messed up not as much but close to what Mia did, I feel that characters wrote like that aren’t realistic to me. This is why I connected to Mia so much. She did bad things and she wasn’t at all perfect. She messed up majorly a lot of times, like a real teenager does.
While I immensely enjoyed the book I felt that the pacing was a bit until you got used to it. The story jumps around a bit and skips indeterminately around to a random place in the future and so it takes the reader a bit of time to figure out where in the timeline they are. I also feel that the reader is introduced to characters like Mia’s friends or her parents, but they aren’t as well developed as some of the other major players in this story are.
Verdict: Never before had I read about such a realistic teenage character in my YA foray before and I’m honestly so sad that I completed the book. I fell in love with Mia and I just want her story to continue! This book is an excellent read for YA readers and maybe some mature middle grade readers, I would just be cautious about some of the topics discussed in the novel. If you enjoy YA contemporaries and want a realistic character, then this book is definitely for you! This book releases September 12, so pre-order now!!