Monday, September 26, 2016

Middle-Grade Review: Frazzled - Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat

Release date: September 27th, 2016
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 240
Purchase links: Amazon - Amazon UK - Amazon CA - Book Depository - B&N - IndieBound - iTunes - Google Books - Adlibris

Description (from Goodreads):

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.

I don't read middle-grade novels very often, but after reading Booki Vivat's Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom, I definitely became more interested in the prospect of delving into MG literature more often. Frazzled is extremely funny, relatable and filled with funny and poignant illustrations.

Frazzled is the story of Abbie Wu who is about to start middle school and she is far from excited. As a middle child, she is used to being in the middle and that has never really worked out for her too well. She feels like an alien in her family, surrounded by a big brother who is loved and admired by everyone and a little sister whose cuteness is always acknowledged by everyone. Middle school - the middle point between elementary school and high school - thus seems alien to her as well. 

At the beginning of the new school year, Abbie is faced with the decision to pick her electives. Unlike her friends, Abbie has no idea what her THING is and the way people are talking about the selection of the electives makes it seem to Abbie like one wrong decision could destroy her life in the long run. Despite the fact that the students are still so young they are already made to think about their futures and how their electives of choice will help them reach a certain goal in the future. I think Frazzled excels in portraying the anxiety Abbie goes through, and despite the fact that I have already found my "thing", I was able to relate with Abbie and the struggle she goes through, because I was that girl looking for my thing not so long ago (I think I found "my thing" only in high school). 

The illustrations in Frazzled are brilliant and I definitely want to pick up the finished copy because I don't think the advance copy did justice to them. There is a very humoristic feel to this novel that kind of reminded me of The Princess Diaries, aka one of my favorite series ever. There are no royals here, but the observations Abbie makes and her sense of humor were somewhat reminiscent of Mia's diaries. 

I am not sure whether Frazzled is a standalone middle-grade novel or a start for a series, but in both cases, I found it to be very entertaining and funny. I would have loved to have this book in my life when I was younger and I hope young readers find it and embrace it. 


"I worry more than anyone I know and maybe more than anyone in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD."

"I always thought the Universe was supposed to send me some kind of sign. Like, all of a sudden, I would discover that I was a genius at something and that would be my sign from the Universe and THAT would be my Thing. "

"Was I changing? Was this even me? I wasn't sure if I was becoming someone new of if I was just now figuring out that this had always been me."

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