Saturday, July 15, 2017

Big & Little Questions

Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd). Julie Bowe. 2017. 240 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Lots of things have changed since my last first week of school.

Premise/plot: Wren Jo Byrd is the heroine of Julie Bowe's newest book, Big & Little Questions. She has had a whole summer to get used to the idea of her parents getting a divorce, but, she hasn't really accepted it and is not willing to talk about it. She's spent most of the summer out of town, and, she hasn't spoken to--or texted--her best, best friend, Amber. Wren wants to reconnect with Amber now that school has started, but, Amber isn't making it easy for her. Why didn't Wren call? text? send a postcard? write a letter? Why didn't she come to her birthday party? Why didn't she let her know she wasn't going to be in town? Why the silent treatment? Wren has questions of her own. BIG and LITTLE questions as you might have gathered. Why did Amber replace her so quickly with the new girl? Why is Amber's new best friend, Marianna, so mean? Why does Marianna tell lies and bully people? Why can't things be the way they used to be?

Complicating matters of friendship is the divorce. Wren still doesn't want Amber to know about it. Wren is hiding the fact that she spends the weekends--Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon--with her father in his new place. Wren finds herself lying to her friends almost daily. She doesn't like it, but, once she gets started, she doesn't know how to stop. Yet Wren doesn't see herself as a liar, Marianna is the liar, after all.

Marianna and Wren spend time together throughout the week after school, Marianna walks her to the library--where her mother works--and often they do homework together. (Marianna is being raised by her stepfather. Her mother hasn't made the move yet.) Readers see the 'real' Marianna before Wren does, in my opinion.

My thoughts: I am a big fan of Julie Bowe. I've loved her work in the past. This one isn't an exception. I like the characters very much. I must admit I really liked Marianna and was hoping that Wren and her would get to be friends and come to a real understanding. The character I know least is perhaps Amber. I thought the characterization was very good, very strong. I definitely liked getting to know both her Mom and her Dad.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP