The Book of Dares for Lost Friends by Jane Kelley

The Book of Dares for Lost Friends by Jane KelleyThe Book of Dares for Lost Friends by Jane Kelley
on July 14th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Middle Grade
Pages: 304
Goodreads

Val and Lanora have been friends forever. Val expects their relationship to stay the same. But after they start middle school, Lanora decides to reinvent herself. Her parents have split up, and she wants to rise above that. Unfortunately Lanoraʼs choices lead her into trouble. Val hates watching her friend lose her way. She wants to rescue Lanora, but how? Val doesnʼt know what to do until a stray cat leads her to a strange boy who lives in an even stranger bookshop. Together they embark on a quest. Will they be able to save a lost friend? Will they get lost themselves? Or will they find a way to help each other become who they want to be . . .

Jane Kelley has created a nuanced, universal story about friendship and that delicate time of adolescence when there is much to lose and much more to find.

I received a copy of this book for review, this does not influence my thoughts on the book.

I’m always looking for cute MG books and when I heard about The Book of Dares for Lost Friends, I knew it was the book for me. Told in 3rd person POV with views from two best friends and a cat, The Book of Dares is a unique new book that is fun but also a bit serious at times.

When Lanora and Val start middle school, Lanora decides that she needs a break. Her parent’s divorce has made her realize one thing: she’s got to look out for herself, and that means she needs to be on her own and away from Val. As they grow apart, Val meets Tas, an adventurous boy with interesting and magical stories. Val and Tas start to think that Lanora is cursed and they attempt to help Lanora find her way. The Book of Dares for Lost Friends is a unique MG read that has an engaging plot and handles some deep issues.

I loved the characters. Even though the writing style is distancing, I could really connect to all the characters (even the cat)! I loved reading about the girls and their new experiences, especially as they try to navigate a new and difficult transition in their lives. The setting was also amazing and I could really feel New York City in everything that was happening (did I mention that I love NYC?). There was also a slight romance that I enjoyed and I’m so happy it didn’t take away from the story, or interfered with it at all.

Overall, The Book of Dares for Lost Friends is a great new MG read that I highly recommend for any reader looking to find a book that combines themes of friendship with ones of adventure.

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More about Shelly

Shelly Z is a reader, writer and blogger. She works for Adventures in YA Publishing, a 101 best site for writers selected by Writer’s Digest, and is a blogger at Read.Sleep.Repeat. She rants as much as she reads. You can find her on twitter at @shellysrambles.

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