Title: Much Ado About Anne
Author: Heather Vogel Frederick
Published by: Simon & Schuster, 2008
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Recommended to: Middle grade girls
Overall Score: A-
Last year, the Mother-Daughter Book Club began: best friends Cassidy, Megan, Emma, Jess, and their mothers read Little Women, made new friendships, suffered losses, and experienced adventures. This year, the girls are back, and this time, the chosen book (LM Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables) isn't the only thing new to the club: the moms have decided to welcome a new member. Much to the horror of the girls, their latest addition is snooty Becca Chadwick, known for making fun of Emma and her weight, and her overprotective mother. But Becca's pranks aren't the only problem that the girls of the Club have on their hands: Jess's family might be losing their beloved ranch, Half Moon Farm, and they're determined to save it. Combine that with a disastrous tea party, a fashion show, a new boyfriend for Cassidy's mom , crushes, a skating party gone wrong, a fight among the girls, and a mother-daughter camping trip, and it's certain that this year's going to be one to remember...
When I read The Mother-Daughter Book Club a year or two ago, I was so pleased with how Ms. Frederick put so much warmth and creativity into her book. This also carried over into the second book in the series. From start to finish, Much Ado About Anne is one of those books that makes you feel warm inside. One of my favorite things about these books is that the author just welcomes you into the story, inviting you to follow the characters, laugh along with the humor, and makes you feel like you're part of the club. The story was deliciously modern, simple, and fun, moving quickly but without skimping on details or ever being boring. The dialogue was clear and realistic, and I really liked how there was an altering narration, so you got to sample each character's voice. I was worried about how the plot would be fresh from the first book, but there was no need to: the whole Half Moon Farm/Becca Chadwick crises brought along plenty of entertainment, along with all the usual book club escapades and adventures. In fact, I'm hoping there might be a possible third book in the series--I don't want to say goodbye to these characters quite yet.
In a nutshell, Much Ado About Anne is a feel-good novel of friendship that's perfect for a rainy day when you just want to curl up with a cup of cocoa and read something that will make you happy.
PS. I just love that adorable cover, don't you? (:
Click here for a review of the first book, The Mother Daughter Book Club