The Science of Being Angry by Nicole Melleby

Disclaimer: I received this arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Science of Being Angry

Author: Nicole Melleby

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: 2 moms, f/f romances, IVF and anonymous donor MC and siblings, Queer MC

Recommended For…: middle grade readers, contemporary, LGBT, mental health, family

Publication Date: May 10, 2022

Genre: MG Contemporary

Age Relevance: 9+ (violence, slight romance)

Explanation of Above: There is some light violence in this book, with our MC who pushes and shoves people. Sometimes stuff is thrown too. There is also a very slight romance.

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 276

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Joey is angry. All the time. And she doesn’t understand why. She has two loving moms, a supportive older half brother, and, as a triplet, she’s never without company. Her life is good. But sometimes she loses her temper and lashes out, like the time she threw a soccer ball—hard—at a boy in gym class and bruised his collarbone. Or when jealousy made her push her (former) best friend (and crush), Layla, a little bit too roughly.

After a meltdown at Joey’s apartment building leads to her family’s eviction, Joey is desperate to figure out why she’s so mad. A new unit in science class makes her wonder if the reason is genetics. Does she lose control because of something she inherited from the donor her mothers chose?

Review: I really REALLY loved this book. It was such a good book in showing how sometimes kids are angry because of genetics or things outside of the (very wrong) assumption that “they’re just bad kids”. The MC has good intentions, but sometimes she just gets mad because of things outside of her control. I loved that the root of the anger was discussed at the end and that the whole family apologized to each other for the way they all contributed to the MC’s anger. I especially loved how it showed the family having fights and showing that it was ok to fight or disagree sometimes with each other. The book also did so good in discussing ancestry and genetics, but also discussed how “non-traditional” families in several different forms. The explanation of IVF and the anonymous donor was very well done and very well explained for children to understand the basic concept. The book also did well to show how well this family in the book works, which sets the example for how families do and can look like. I also thought the romance was so sweet and adorable. The character development was well done, the world building was well done, the writing was amazing, and the book just draws you in and refuses to let you go. I highly suggest tissues when you read this.

The only issue I had with the book is that I wish the diagnosis was shared to the audience, but I did love that many different things were thrown out there and several coping mechanisms discussed so other kids who are also dealing with this could see their own mental health journey in this book.

Verdict: Highly recommend!

Jewish American Heritage Month

Hey bookies! May is Jewish American Heritage Month and I wanted to celebrate by recommending books released or releasing in 2022 with Jewish protagonists in them and/or written by Jewish authors. Here’s the list:

The Blackwoods by Brandy Colbert releasing this year!
Kenya & Genesis by Brandy Colbert releasing this year!
(A Shot in the Dark by Victoria Lee coming this year!)

Twelfth by Janet Key

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Twelfth

Author: Janet Key

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Diversity: Non-binary character, Wheelchair user character, Trans character, Gay character, Queer characters

Recommended For…: middle grade readers, mystery, LGBT, thriller, theater, summer camp

Publication Date: May 17, 2022

Genre: MG Mystery

Age Relevance: 12+ (homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, religion, religious trauma, depression, parental death, kidnapping, war, gore, violence, domestic abuse, romance)

Explanation of Above: There are some homophobia, transphobia, and antisemetic comments made to characters in the book. There is mentions of religion and religious trauma. Depression and parental death is mentioned briefly. There is a couple of kidnapping scenes, along with mentions of war and scenes of gore (vomit and some slight blood) and violence (assault on minors). Domestic abuse is alluded to in the book and there are a couple of brief scenes of romance.

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 368

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Maren is sure theater camp isn’t for her. Theater camp is for loud, confident, artsy people: people like her older sister, Hadley—the last person Maren wants to think about—and her cinema-obsessed, nonbinary bunkmate, Theo. But when a prank goes wrong, Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that, legend has it, is linked to the camp’s namesake, Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood.
 
When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits and costume storages, discovering the trail and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they’re almost out of time.

Review: I enjoyed this summer camp read! I loved that it was a theater camp and that the mystery was Shakespeare themed. The book had pretty decent character development and world building. The story was interesting and it kept me reading until the very end to figure out the whodunit. I also enjoyed the riddles even though I didn’t understand them. I also appreciate all of the useful material at the end of the book!

However, I knew it wasn’t going to be so good for me when the book started off with 2 full pages of characters. I did have trouble remembering all of the characters, there were a lot, and reading an ebook made it hard to flip to the front of the book to check who was who. I thought that the book was a little on the boring side in the beginning until about halfway through the book and that there was just so much slow pacing throughout the read.

Verdict: I liked it!

Book Info:

Twelfth by Janet Key

Genre: Middle Grade Mystery Historical

Publishing Date: May 17, 2022

Synopsis:

Better Nate Than Ever  meets The Parker Inheritance in this heartwarming mystery about finding your people and accepting others as they are.

Twelve-year-old Maren is sure theater camp isn’t for her. Theater camp is for loud, confident, artsy people: people like her older sister, Hadley—the last person Maren wants to think about—and her cinema-obsessed, nonbinary bunkmate, Theo. But when a prank goes wrong, Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that, legend has it, is linked to the camp’s namesake, Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood.
 
When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits and costume storages, discovering the trail and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they’re almost out of time. 

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58783431-twelfth

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316669318/ref=x_gr_w_bb_sin?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_sin_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twelfth-janet-key/1140137043?ean=9780316669313

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/twelfth/9780316669313-item.html?ikwid=twelfth+janet+key&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0#algoliaQueryId=526c89bab0803c85591991b908acdc04 IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780316669313

About the Author:

When Janet Key was twelve, she sang and danced onstage in the background of musicals, stayed up too late reading Shakespeare, and had a closet full of themed, handsewn vests.

This is her first novel. 

Author Links:

Website: https://www.janetkeybooks.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janetkeybooks/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21737421.Janet_Key

Tour Schedule:https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2022/04/11/tour-schedule-twelfth-by-janet-key/