I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.In Your Shoes by Donna Gephart
Genres: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on October 09, 2018
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The critically acclaimed author of Lily and Dunkin delivers another heartfelt story that will remind readers you never know who needs a friend the most, about two imaginative tweens who help each other find new beginnings.
Miles is an anxious boy who loves his family's bowling center even if though he could be killed by a bolt of lightning or a wild animal that escaped from the Philadelphia Zoo on the way there.
Amy is the new girl at school who wishes she didn't have to live above her uncle's funeral home and tries to write her way to her own happily-ever-after.
Then Miles and Amy meet in the most unexpected way . . . and that's when it all begins. . . .
Miles Spagoski jogged the four blocks to his family’s bowling center, shivering and imagining ways he might die-a frozen tree limb could crack off and land on his head, a distracted driver fiddling with a car’s heating controls could swerve onto the sidewalk and plow him flat, or if he was outside long enough, plain old hypothermia could be the end of his short, sad story.
Here is what I thought
So contemporary is not my usual genre, but I was curious about this one because of the blurb on the back, I will admit that it took me a bit to get into it but overall I did enjoy it.
It’s about a couple of odd middle graders and the awkwardness that goes along with meeting new people and becoming friends.
Miles pretty much lives at his parent’s bowling alley and is always working on getting that perfect score. He is pretty much a worry wart and you can tell by that first line up above. He is always thinking about death and is a little strange. Amy’s mother recently died and so her father moved them to Buckington, from Chicago. It’s a huge change for her especially since she is now with her uncle who owns a funeral home. Her father is gone during the week learning how to work in a funeral home and her outlet for things is to write. She uses things that happens to her in real life and makes stories out of them.
Her first day of school starts off with a bowling shoe being thrown at her forehead. Miles and his friend had been fighting and Randall throw his shoe. Nice first meeting, huh? The next meeting goes just as well when she goes to the bowling alley and Miles accidentally spills his rootbeer on her. It’s an awkward start but Amy kind of likes Miles and his clumsy ways. Then she meets her first friend in a library, Tate. It just so happens that Tate is friends with Miles and Randall.
The big thing in the story is the school dance. Randall is going with Tate and they are trying to get Miles to ask Amy but he is reluctant and doesn’t really want to go to the dance, but Amy really does. Then some sad things happen and things take a bit a turn for Miles.
I really liked the characters even though they were pretty strange. I think they would be relatable to middle grade readers. They are at that awkward age that making new friends is a lot harder than it was when they were little. The pressure of dances and seeing the opposite sex in a different way.
I like how the author put Amy’s story writing into the story so we kind of got a little story inside a story about a prince who was harry…lol. You just have to read it.
I understand the need to help middle graders understand loss and things like that but I was not ready to read a middle grade book that made me want to cry. I don’t like crying especially over a scene in a book so for me I thought the last half was a bit to sad as I like happy MG books. It did redeem itself in the end. So I liked it but I didn’t love it.
I would recommend it to those who like contemporary or have young readers who are into contemporary reads.