Can You Say Catastrophe? (The Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair)
By: Laurie Friedman
Publisher: Darby Creek
Publication Date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: December 2013
Faraway, Alabama was far away from anything exciting until Matt Parker moved in next door to the Sinclairs. April could really get into knowing a guy like that, but no way would that happen when June opened her mouth. “April said you’re hot and that she doesn’t even know you yet, but she already has a crush on you.” Leave it to a six-year-old to wreck her thirteen-year-old life in two flat seconds. Maybe one. April’s little sister, May, wasn’t a lot better in the life-wrecking department. April had told her Brynn, about Matt, but seriously didn’t think it would be repeated. And then May had to go try to pick Matt up ... literally.
April, Brynn, and Billy, the “Three Musketeers,” were going to be heading off to Camp Silver Shores in fifty-one days. Leaving everyone behind would work for April, like totally. “Four amazing weeks with no parents or sisters to drive me crazy,” she exclaimed to Brynn and Billy, “My mom is driving me nuts.” April’s birthday party had been totaled and everything about her life was a huge catastrophe. Now that thing with Matt was weird, but then got “super weird” when Billy decided to toe-touch. It was as if “they had minds of their own and they didn’t want to stop touching.” Camp sure would be different this year.
Of all things, April’s dad was opening the “Love Doctor Diner” and the servers were going to be “Ambassadors of Love.” Guess who was going to be a server? April had been “born into what was clearly the wrong family” for her and between the diner and the Matt incident she didn’t know which was worse. Matt, her “not-so-secret crush” was on her mind, but when Billy kissed her things were starting to look up. Well, not with her family because they were a pain and she let them know it. Her summer was going to be great until her Dad had something to say to her. “April, you’re not going to camp.” You have got to be kidding! He wasn’t.
This is the tale of April Sinclair’s terribly catastrophic life that ‘tweens and teens will relate to. Of course when things go wrong, they go terribly wrong. April unfortunately was born into a family that wasn’t quite right for her. Not one bit. Laurie Friedman, who has obviously “experienced” this angst, makes April into a totally believable character. April is torn this way and that as she begins to mature and everything is catastrophic. There are light touches of humor when sisters May and June aggravate her. When that clunky RV took off for Florida instead of Camp Silver Shores I knew the story would be a good one, and it was. If you are a ‘tween or teen with a catastrophic life, you’ll love this one!
Quill says: Young 'tweens and teens who have enjoyed the "Mallory" series, will totally fall in love with April Sinclair and her catastrophic life!