Making Friends With Alice Dyson by Poppy Nwosu

      Making Friends With Alice Dyson by Poppy Nwosu, Walker Books, 9781536214789, 2020 (US Edition; 2018 Australia Edition)

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 2

Genre:  Realistic 

What did you like about the book? Alice has clear ideas about how she would like to get through the end of high school: avoid parties and popular kids, keep up her high grades, maintain her life-long friendship with May, and finish saving up for her secret plans to travel abroad, away from her controlling parents. However, Alice can’t seem to avoid school troublemaker Teddy Talulai, who follows her around and makes his affections for her clear. Alice also must contend with her friend May’s desperate attempts to join the cool clique at school and to drag Alice along with her. Will Alice agree to join the in crowd? Will she stop being exasperated by Teddy and see him in a different light? Can she embrace spontaneity and change?

Anything you didn’t like about it? Alice’s blindness to Teddy’s obvious intentions lasts a confusingly long time. Teddy has a history of violence, and when Alice thinks of leaving him for her international adventure, he destroys property, which is seen as romantic in this book, and which definitely is not. The discussions about joining the popular group and about being seen as an outcast for hanging out with specific students seem too on the nose for real teenagers.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Teens who like romance. Read-Alike: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Who should buy this book? Middle schools, high schools, public libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Rachel Chiel Katz, Schechter Boston, Newton, MA

Date of review: 3/3/21

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