Size Doesn’t Matter (84): Frazzled; Calling It

I received this book for free from Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (84): Frazzled; Calling ItFrazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat
Published by HarperCollins on September 27, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Humor
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

Meet Abbie Wu! She’s about to start middle school and she’s totally in crisis.

Abbie Wu is in crisis—and not just because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because the lunch ladies at school are totally corrupt or because everyone seems to have a “Thing” except her. Abbie Wu is in crisis always.

Heavily illustrated and embarrassingly honest, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up. With Abbie’s flair for the dramatic and natural tendency to freak out, middle school has never seemed so nerve-racking!

Packed with hilarious black-and-white illustrations and doodles throughout, Frazzled takes readers through Abbie Wu’s hysterical middle school adventures.

Ah, the special joy when an author friend’s book is every bit as delightful as you hoped it would be. Before I started blogging, I worried about a book disappointing me, but the fear that an author who you actually know and adore will write a book that you don’t personally like is a special terror I never knew before this whole blog thing. Booki Vivat’s Frazzled is every bit as cute as that cover, with charming illustrations on a story that’s a must for rising middle schoolers.

What I love about Frazzled‘s plot is that it accurately sums up how terrible middle school is, while also giving young readers hope that they’ll make it through. Middle school was the worst time of my life, and there’s something so satisfying about Abbie’s frustration with “the middles.” This book will be so excellent for kids who are about to move up to middle school and scared to do so.

Abbie Wu’s so incredibly charming. I relate a lot to her constant worrying and fear that she’s not got a “thing.” I don’t remember feeling that much pressure at that age, but then again maybe I was more worried about my friendlessness than about trying to figure out what comes next. Abbie’s mission to make school better by organizing lunch trades is brilliant and realistically portrayed. I actually like that her activism gets shut down, but that she’s planning to keep trying to get unfair rules re: school lunch changed. Change isn’t easy, and I think Vivat conveys that hard truth about life without making seeking change seem fruitless or impossible.

Cute and funny, I urge you to pick up Frazzled. The illustrations and the way they merge with the text is a delight. Kids will love it, and adults, like myself, will be charmed.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (84): Frazzled; Calling ItCalling It by Jen Doyle
Series: Calling It
Published by Carina Press on April 11, 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 254
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Baseball player Nathan Hawkins needs to get away from Chicago. After a near career-ending car accident and with paparazzi surrounding his penthouse, Nate can only think of one place to go: home. But when he finds his old apartment occupied by a half-naked woman wielding a baseball bat, he's not sure what to think...except that maybe his luck has finally changed for the better.

Librarian Dorie Donelli never thought she'd get to meet her fantasy man in person--much less while she's wearing her bathrobe. To her surprise, her nearly naked run-in with Nate leads to more unclothed encounters. But Dorie is sure their fling is only temporary. As long as she remembers he'll be gone once his life gets back on track, she won't get hurt. In the meantime, she throws herself into enjoying their three weeks together before he has to report for spring training and go back to his old life.

For Nate, being with Dorie is the only time in months that he finds himself smiling. Laughing. And he has no intention of letting that go. He might even be falling in love...if only Dorie will let him say the words. What they have isn't just a dream, but the start of a dream come true.

In my recent rediscovery of romance, I’ve mostly been focusing on historical romance, but I’ve also been requesting any promising-sounding contemporary novels I’ve come across on NetGalley or Edelweiss. Jen Doyle’s Calling It proved a fun and shippy romance, even though I would say it was more of a double than a homerun. (Did I baseball metaphor accurately?)

Dorie and Nathan have excellent chemistry, and the basic set-up is such a Christina trap. Dorie’s moved to a small town in Iowa to restore and run a library, and along the way she meets and falls into bed with her childhood crush, Nate Hawkins. Calling It is totally instalove, but I actually didn’t really mind it. Dorie and Nathan work together well enough that I was willing to roll with it. Did I roll my eyes a few times at the quickness of it? Sure, I did, but they also have a semi-decent chance. What I liked most about their dynamic was how Dorie was raised with six brothers and Nate with three sisters, so neither of them fell into the obvious gender stereotypes of romance.

I was really into this book after just a few chapters. The small Iowa town is super cute, and I love the bits about them all coming together to restore the library. The scenes where Dorie and Nathan hang out with his friends and family are the strongest in the book. That’s a good thing, since the series is about the group of friends.

What kept me from totally loving this romance was that it focused on manufactured melodrama rather than actual tension. Dorie and Nate have a perfect relationship: they literally love everything about one another. The only issue is Dorie’s fear of committing to him, because she doesn’t think THE NATE HAWKINS could ever love her. This is a believable way for her to feel, but it drags on way too long. I’d have preferred to see them actually fight over something real (like his agent’s or teammates’ treatment of women or something).

Calling It‘s super cute and fun, though I wish the main relationship tension had felt less forced. I definitely liked it enough to read book two, though.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:





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