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

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