I loved the first book, it was one of my favorites from last year. In book one, best friends Lydia and Julie uncovered the secrets to popularity. Now the two plan to use what they learned in first year of junior high. After Lydia's mom gets job opportunity in London, the friends are separated. Lydia and Julie continue to journal in their own distinct style to keep in touch.
The two have very different school experiences. One thing they have in common is their struggle to fit in. Lydia befriends the outcast, and becomes their sort of leader. (at least she thinks so) Julie joins the clique of 8th grader Della Dawns. Once in, Julie wants to get out. Her take on junior high cliques is very on point.
Pros- Everyone knows that if they mess with you, they're messing with the whole group, and it's sort of nice to be protected.
Cons- Sometimes you feel like you can't talk with anyone else who isn't in the group.
Ignatow has written a well layered story. There's a lot going on and it all blends in perfectly. I love that the author takes the time to include their families Julie's mom and older sister, Melody who is into goth and loves to knit. Lydia's dads, daddy and poppa dad are there loving and supporting her.
Julie is the artist and usually does the drawing for their journal. Now Lydia must do her own drawings, which are so bad they're funny. Apart from each, Lydia and Julie's voices become even more their own. Their observation and navigation of junior high are believable, realistic and funny. Fans of the first book will love this one as well.