|Cover Courtesy of Goodreads|
Book Review: Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Goodreads Synopsis: Summer's over and it's time for Sunny Lewin to enter the strange and unfriendly hallways of . . . middle school. When her Gramps calls her from Florida to ask how she's doing, she always tells him she's fine. But the truth? Sunny is NOT having the best time. Not only is the whole middle school thing confusing . . . but life at home is confusing, too. Sunny misses her brother Dale, who's been sent to boarding school. But when Dale comes back, she STILL misses him . . . because he's changed. Luckily Sunny's got her best friend and a mysterious new neighbor on her side . . . because she is NOT going let all this confusion get her down. Instead, she's going to remain Sunny-side up!
My Review: I read Sunny Side Up, the first book in the duology, years ago and have been re-reading it from time to time. It was pretty powerful and heartbreaking, especially for a middle grade novel. I wish I could say the same about the sequel.
Swing It, Sunny lacks a story line. Throughout the whole book, Sunny just worries about Dale. Her middle school life is not emphasized at all, and she doesn't go through any major character development. Even Dale himself does not seem to change until the very end. Many issues are also left unresolved, such as why Dale doesn't come home for Easter Break (I believe this wasn't mentioned, at least. My bad if it is). Basically, Sunny learns that Dale needs help (which she learned by the end of the first book), and she pines for him and deals with sad memories in this story. That's it.
I did love the cute illustrations and simple phrases, but overall, this book fell short of my expectations. I give it three stars. It just wasn't exceptional. I hope there will be another book to join this one, though, and will definitely try to check it out!