I had a lot of fun reading Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle. I first saw this charming book listed on Shelf Awareness awhile back and the cover is what caught my eye. I loved that the four main characters were so multi-cultural; that this book could appeal to a very wide range of girls no matter what their background is.
Luv Ya Bunches is the story of four fifth-grade girls: Violet, Katie-Rose, Camilla and Yasaman. They are each dealing with their own friendship issues: Violet is the new girl in school and not sure where she will fit in; Katie-Rose comes off a little strange and a bit goofy, she's obsessed with video and film; Camilla is the third girl in a three-girl "mean girl" clique and not so sure she's really a "mean girl" or that she cares that much about popularity; and Yasaman, whose nickname is Spazaman around school, is shy, a wallflower (always good for eavesdropping), and great with computers. Yasaman creates a social networking website just for her and her friends. Now, she just needs to find some friends. And this is the year for it! Each of these girls are desperate in their own way for new friends and happen to find each other.
Even though this book is middle grade fiction geared specifically at 4-6th grade girls, I found the characters to have a ton of personality and depth. Each of the four main characters had their own personality traits that again would appeal to a large group of girls, either as someone they identify with or someone they would like to be. There's a great storyline about friendship and what is truly important. Also deals with the issue of "mean girls" and popularity. The story is told in alternating chapters with each of the four main characters having their own voice and story. Myracle has also incorporated the technology of today into the book through instant message conversations as well as film script style storytelling. These stylistic components are sure to appeal to girls in this age range.
A real winner and a perfect gift for the tween on your book shopping list! Also good for any reader who really enjoyed Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love. Though this was a little bit fluffier then the Emma-Jean books. I think Luv Ya Bunches will definitely appeal to Emma-Jean readers.
Other blogger opinions: I'm Booking It, Welcome to My Tweendom, My Reading Room
Here is a link to a fun author interview with Lauren Myracle.
And the book trailer:
Source disclosure: ARC sent to me by Laura Mihalick from Abrams Books through a Shelf Awareness galley request.