Antonia is a "priss," Jazz is a "punk." Antonia belongs to the math club. Jazz hangs out at the tattoo parlor. Antonia's parents are divorced and her mother struggles to pay the rent. Jazz is from a traditional family and lives in a mansion with a pool. But when these two very different girls find themselves facing each other in a peer-counseling program, they discover they have some surprising things in common. Alternately hilarious and heart-wrenching, this is an absorbing read that will keep audiences thinking and laughing
I’ve never read anything by Julie Ann Peters before, but I’ve heard such great things about her. I picked this up at the library and read half of it straight through. I finished the rest soon after. It was a quick read, but filled with so much. I loved the characters. Jazz and Antonia looked like complete opposites on the outside- Antonia the smart, perfect girl while Jazz was the troubled goth. In reality this wasn’t the case. Both were dealing with trouble at home, but Antonia even more so. It wasn’t until Jazz became friends with Antonia that she realized how lucky she was. The bond between the girls was really great, and I know both of their lives were changed because of the other. It really proved how important it is to have someone you can open up to and talk to. The title really fit the book, because Antonia and Jazz talk about what it means to be normal, which is a great part of the book. When you think about it- what is “normal”?
Peters did a great job of proving that you should never judge someone by their appearance. You should always see what’s inside first. The peer counseling idea was really creative and it was what really let Antonia and Jazz open up to each other. This is actually a good book for readers in middle school as well because Jazz and Antonia are only in eighth grade. It was an easy read for me, but I would recommend it to older readers, too, because it had a great message with great characters.
Some things were a little repetitive and the novel was a little predictable, but all in all I’m glad I read it. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by Julie Ann Peters in the future.
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars