On the surface, Violet, Katie-Rose, Camilla and Yasaman seem to have little in common outside of the fact that they all are in fifth grade at Rivendell Elementary School. Katie-Rose is a film buff who if truth-be-told, tries a little too hard. Violet in the quintessential new girl with a bit of a secret. Yasaman is the only fifth grader who wears a hijab. And Camilla is just on the edge of the queen bee crew next to Modessa and Quin. But school life has a way of throwing people together, and soon their lives are indeed intertwined.
Katie-Rose went to pioneer camp over the summer with Camilla (Milla for short), and is hoping that they can be friends inside school as well. She knows that Milla hangs out with queen bees Modessa and Quin, but Katie-Rose is sure that Milla doesn't really belong with them. After all, Milla is the nice one of the bunch.
Yasaman is the kind of girl who keeps to her self and stays out of trouble. Over the summer, she went to a computer camp and actually came up with her own social network. Kind of like facebook, but private to those who join. Too bad she doesn't have anyone to join. And too bad she can't come up with a better name for it than blahblahsomethingsomething.com!
Katie-Rose meets new girl Violet the very first day. As she is directing Violet to her next class, she accidentally causes a big collision between Milla and Yasaman. Violet gets a taste for the school hierarchy as Modessa and Quin come by calling Yasaman Spazaman while they help Milla gather up the contents of her spilled knapsack. Violet is surprised when Katie-Rose disappears instead of helping Yasaman out.
Milla soon discovers that something from her knapsack is missing. Her favorite toy turtle named Tally is gone! He's a bit of a security blanket for Milla and she's devastated by the discovery. Will she ever get him back? Or a better question to ask is whether or not Tally is actually "lost".
Soon all four girls are tangled up in the push-pull of fifth grade friendships. Milla isn't really happy with Modessa and Quin's nasty ways, but she's not sure she's ready to be friends with Katie-Rose and Yasaman, who by now have found each other. Violet is playing it cool with Modessa and Quin while she tries to figure out what to do about the predicaments that she is in at home and at school. Will these four manage to get together to shield each other from the mean girls?
Told as only Lauren Myracle can, Luv Ya Bunches is a pitch perfect tween read. Told in alternating chapters and using screen play and IM format as well as traditional prose, readers get a bird's eye view of each of the girls as they muddle their way towards one another. I sat down and thought to my adult self if four such diverse characters were a little too convenient, if you know what I mean, and I decided that convenience was not a factor. These girls are all geeked out in their own way, whether it be over computer code, film, pioneer camp, bobble headed toys or just being the new girl. There's a definite connection between the characters that shines through. Myracle will also have her audience in fits of giggles over things such as bewitching girdles and dingleberries.
In stores 10/09.