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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Summer of Bad Ideas by Kiera Stewart

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're celebrating all that summer has to offer...a bit ahead of the calendar.  So, okay, technically the first official day is June 21, but really...depending on where you live, the weather has already taken a turn for the worst...I mean, bright and gloriously beautiful!  *ahem*  Yeah, I guess I share the sentiments of our dear little leading lady regarding the temps we see here in "the sunshine state", but I digress.  This post isn't about my love or abhorrence of high temperatures, but the fun to be had in life if only we take a the chances given...and since you have to start somewhere, I do believe summer would be an appropriate choice.  Ladies and gents, today's book of choice is...


About the book...
In this funny, big-hearted friendship story, perfect for fans of Wendy Mass and Linda Urban, twelve-year-old Edie and her impossibly cool cousin, Rae, set out to complete a mysterious list of “Good Ideas for Summertime” that their eccentric late grandmother wrote back when she was their age.

But good ideas? Most of them seem like bad ideas. Reckless. Foolish. Ridiculous. Still, by accomplishing everything on the list, rule-abiding Edie feels certain that she can become the effortlessly brave adventurer she dreams of being, just like her daring cousin and bold grandmother. For this one summer at least, bad ideas are the best shot she has at becoming who she wants to be.

Bad Idea Number One: It’s time for a new set of rules.


Right from the start, I knew this was going to be a book I could relate to.  Why?  Well, her description of FL weather is spot on...

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"... - being anywhere in this state is like getting trapped in your P.E. teacher's armpit after an aggressive game of dodgeball..."

...I mean, come on!  you don't get more perfect than that!  ^-^
Seriously, I was laughing out loud from the start, and continued to be emotionally engaged in the story til the end...and that's a pretty good sign considering what drew them all together is a great sadness, the loss of the grandmother, mother, friend, and well known member of the community, Petunia.  Yes, that's right...Petunia, but don't go thinking the name dictates a dainty little gal with a Southern twang that wouldn't let butter melt in her mouth.  No sir!  As Edie is about to find out, she was a bit of a firecracker, not by nature but by CHOICE.

The backstory on Petunia that develops over the course of the story was delightful, as was the list of challenges the girls found when scoping out the house.  It was fun to see them try to follow in her footsteps, never even knowing if she herself finished, or even attempted the list.  Some represented regular childhood rituals...wishing on a star, writing something scary...others were a bit more out of the box...catch a snake BARE-HANDED!  *-*  Yeah, SO not doing that, but that doesn't mean Rae and Edie won't try it, along with a myriad of other things that keep their summer from becoming stagnant like the swampy waters around them.  I enjoyed getting to know Rae, even if she wasn't really upfront with the truth in many situations, but Edie was my gal.  It was fun to see not only her characters development but to watch her discover more about herself, her roots, and what really makes her tick, instead of simply falling into the shadows. 

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In the end, it was a thoroughly entertaining tale of summer firsts, frights, and delights, that also imparted a few valuable lessons...the first was about facing your fears.  I can't say I do that on the regular, but it's certainly something to strive for and something to learn early in life so as not to impose any unnecessary limits on what you believe you can achieve.  The second, it can be hard being yourself when you're trying to impress those around you.  It doesn't mean you shouldn't be, though...yourself, that just may mean the people in the surrounding need to change, whether in body or viewpoint is entirely up to the both of you, but make it for the best of all.  Growing up isn't the easiest thing in life, but we can make it epically more so by seeking those people and things we find our true selves in....the rest is icing on the cake.


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Special thanks to Laura at HarperCollins for the copy for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title just celebrated its book birthday this month via Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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