With equal parts humor and heart, Micah McKinney and the Boys of Summer tells the story of twelve-year-old Micah as she embarks on the summer before middle school. More than anything, Micah hopes to undergo a miracle transformation. One that will bring with it new friends, a fresh start, and boobs . . . preferably the round kind. If that happens, then maybe she can finally forget about what happened in the past. About losing her mom, about losing her best friend, and about the disaster she became in sixth grade, when everything fell apart. She and her dad have just moved away from their old neighborhood, and Micah's childhood home, to put some space between themselves and the secret burden they both bear, one that's already changed their lives and has the power to do even more damage. Soon after moving into her new neighborhood, Micah is greeted by the Water twins, Luke and Megan. Micah is surprised to find herself caught between their two worlds. In one world, there's Luke and his band of neighborhood boys, who challenge Micah in feats of strength, crowning her the kahuna at the local pool and vying for her attention, even though she doesn't quite understand why. And then there's Megan, whose world is full of lip gloss and padded bras, and the fine art of being a girl. As Micah awkwardly navigates her way through crushes, friendship, and the challenges of becoming a teenager, she discovers that the real transformation that needs to take place is in how she sees herself.
I loved this book so much. Micah recently lost her mother and had some kind of a crisis with her old friends. She and her father have moved to the other side of town so that they can start over again. We eventually find out what happened and then you really feel sorry for her.
Micah is also at that awkward stage where she is 12 turning 13, so she wants to grow boobs and is trying to find out who she really is. Anyone who went through puberty is going to understand that.
But underneath her questioning and awkwardness is an amazing young woman who has a lot more confidence than she ever realized she had. She also is not into the typical girly-girl stuff that the new girls in her life seem to be. That and her feisty competitive nature help to win her over to the boys in her new neighborhood. They appreciate her for being real, for sharing in their joking, and for keeping up with them in the athletic world. And yes, there are some crushes going on in both directions.
This book reminded me a little bit of Mean Girls with a lot of Judy Blume undertones written for the modern girl. I thought back to my own awkward years and was reminded of a lot of amazing young women I know today. Micah is a young lady worth looking up to and is easily relatable. And again, I just loved this book. I recommend it for all coming of age girls.
I hope the author continues to write more, because I think she is a great voice in this YA world
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for honoring my request for a review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.