Don’t have time to read the entire review? That’s okay! Scroll down to the very end for a TL;DR.
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Sarah Anne loves lacrosse, and the MK Nightshade series that everyone was obsessed over in grade school. The problem is that she’s still obsessed, which is way too nerdy for a popular kid like her. So she hides her geekiness with a set of rules meant to keep her geek and jock selves separate.
Except when she’s offered a spot in a Nightshade fandom contest, where the winner gets to see the new movie premiere in LA. No one seems to think Sarah Anne can win, since she’s up against a pair of guys in high school–but the more she’s called a fake fan, the more determined she is to wipe the floor with her competition. As long as none of her friends or anyone at school knows what she’s doing.
Can she keep her geek identity a secret, win the contest, and manage to keep her friends even though she’s been living a lie? Sarah Anne is going to have to make some choices about what’s truly important to her and which rules she’s going to break to stay true to herself.
Middle grade is one of my favorite genres, and I’m so glad this gem of a book found me! Erin Dionne is the author of numerous middle grade novels, but this is the first one I’ve read. After Secrets of a Fangirl though I’m hoping to read some of her back list titles.
A couple of weeks prior to reading Secrets of a Fangirl I had the privilege of interviewing Erin. I could tell right away that she was meant to be writing books for kids. The personality she showed in the interview came out in full force through her writing and made for a fun story. This is such a critical component for middle grade books that often gets left out.
I loved how relatable of a character Sarah Anne was. We all go through times in life, especially as young kids, when the only thing we want is to fit in. It’s so easy for us to sacrifice the things we love and enjoy in order to seem cool and popular. Sarah Anne’s journey is one that is so important for younger readers. Secrets of a Fangirl helps show that you can be yourself and still have cool friends in a way that doesn’t come off as preachy.
As a parent, this is the kind of story I’m going to want to make available to my son when he’s older. It’s a book I would love to see in school libraries and accessible. Erin Dionne really created something special within these pages. Secrets of a Fangirl is full of personality and really makes you think about whether or not you’re being the best person you can be.
TL;DR: Full of personality and an important message, Secrets of a Fangirl is one you’ll want to read and pass on to the middle grader in your life.
A physical ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.