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2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:


30 / 30 books. 100% done!

20 Books of Summer 2023

My Progress:


17 / 20 books. 85% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (2)
- Alaska (1)
- Arizona (2)
- Arkansas (1)
- California (18)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (3)
- Delaware (1)
- Florida (2)
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho (1)
- Illinois (1)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas (1)
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (5)
- Maryland (3)
- Massachusetts (4)
- Michigan (4)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri (1)
- Montana (2)
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico (1)
- New York (16)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota (1)
- Ohio (4)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (1)
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota (1)
- Tennessee (2)
- Texas (4)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (4)
- Virginia (2)
- Washington (6)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (2)
- (1)
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

International:

- Australia (3)
- Barbados (1)
- Canada (9)
- Chile (1)
- England (26)
- France (2)
- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
- Nigeria (1)
- Norway (1)
- Scotland (3)
- South Korea (1)
- Sweden (1)
- The Netherlands (2)
- Ukraine (1)
-Vietnam (1)

My Progress:


51 / 51 states. 100% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:


25 / 25 books. 100% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge


50 / 50 books. 100% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


52 / 52 books. 100% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:


52 / 52 books. 100% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:


40 / 40 books. 100% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge


29 / 40 books. 73% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:


16 / 25 books. 64% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge


20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:


109 / 109 books. 100% done!

Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Unique Amusement Park Setting + Engrossing Plot + Likable Characters = A Fun, Heartfelt Middle Grade Debut Novel

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When 12-year-old Lauren Suszek is abandoned by her mother in an amusement park, she's not sure what to do. It's clear her mom isn't coming back and Lauren sure as heck doesn't want to go into foster care. With no other alternative, she decides to hide in the park until she can come up with a better plan. "Borrowing" a uniform and a name tag designating her as "Mouse," she sets about imitating an employee, albeit one who secretly lives inside one of the rides in Ghost Town. 

Things are going along rather swimmingly until a nosy girl starts poking around. Not only does Cat seem to know exactly who "Mouse" really is, but she's obviously determined to rat her out to the authorities. Lauren refuses to be caught. She's become an expert at hiding in plain sight. Will her camouflaging skills be enough to keep her out of trouble now, when it matters most? Or will Cat be able to trap the wily Mouse once and for all?

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live in a busy, magical amusement park? Maura Jortner has. Her debut novel,102 Days of Lying About Lauren, was inspired by a trip she took to Disney World in which she started imagining living inside the Haunted Mansion attraction. Although the park in the book is never named, it has all the sparkly enchantment of The Happiest Place on Earth. It's a fun setting for this heartfelt story. Lauren is a sympathetic heroine, but she's likable because she's hopeful, funny, and compassionate (even though dealing with other people's emotions triggers her own anxiety). She's also a giver, appointing herself as a park janitor so that she can give back to her adopted home, instead of just taking from it. Although I would have liked more details about how she survives on a day-to-day basis, there are enough there to make her situation believable. Ish. Would a 12-year-old (even one who looks like a 16-year-old) really be able to fly under the radar for so long without attracting any attention? Who knows, but it makes for a compelling story! Speaking of, there's plenty of action in the novel, which makes it a quick, exciting read. I buzzed through it in one evening. Lest you think there's no substance in 102 Days of Lying About Lauren, let me assure you that there's plenty. Both Lauren and her best park pal, Tanner, are dealing with grief and trauma that lead to anxiety, panic attacks, and sadness. They help each other cope. In the end, as part of the book's realistic but satisfying ending, trustworthy adults also step in to aid the kids.

Despite some heavy subject matter, 102 Days of Lying About Lauren is exciting, humorous, and buoyant. Because of its unique setting, likable characters, engrossing plot, and upbeat vibe, this is a book that young readers will love. I'm hardly its target audience, but I enjoyed the book immensely.

(Readalikes: Hm, I can't think of anything. You?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for scary situations and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love: I bought a copy of 102 Days of Lying About Lauren with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger. Ha ha.

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tethered to Other Stars by Elisa Stone Leahy

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
Amelia Gray is Almost Okay by Jessica Brody



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