I was drawn to this book by the cover, but when I read the blurb and saw that this story was going to be a Groundhog Day (I'm a super fan of the concept of the movie from the nineties) meets Eighth Grade I could not pass it and I'm glad I didn't.
Vivian is a more mature character than the usual middle-grade twelve-turning thirteen years old character. It doesn't mean she has all the answers, and that she is confident, on the contrary, everything seems out of control, she gets her period for the first time, changes her look with style and makeup, and has a love interest as a goal.
Her new goals are meant to break her curse of having a horrible first day of school but this curse gets trumped by a new magical event: reliving the first day of the Eighth grade over and over.
The author takes us and Vivan on a journey from being a clutz, to having specific goals (but are they the ones she should be pursuing?) in the end this is a journey of self-discovery and identity, finding priorities, trying to take control of one's life, making mistakes, taking revenge, you name it... all her choices have consequences, some good, others bad, on a path to honesty.
I love that Vivian loves fantasy novels and writing them as well. She is a very relatable character. I saw myself in many of her scenes and many readers will identify with a few of her predicaments, even if her experiences aren't exactly the same as ours, the themes are.
Explores themes such as interest in romance, first time having the period, bullying, coming out, acceptance from peers, changes that are out of control like a close best friend moving away, distance relationships, new friendships, seeking validation, love for writing, pursuing favorite interests, shared interests, learning kindness, standing up for friends, adoption, two Dads and older brother as a family structure, LGBTQ+, bisexuality, acceptance that leads to confidence. Great novel for Pride Month.
I loved repeating the same day with Vivian, it wasn't a repetition at all, (it's actually a very readable book), it felt that we were growing together, sharing valuable lessons that even some adults should be reminded of.
An author to keep following. Looking forward to reading the next project.
Arc provided by NetGalley.
Groundhog Day meets Eighth Grade in this time-loop story set on the first day of school.