Monday, November 5, 2018
Why Can't I Be You by Melissa C. Walker
Claire's mom has finally agreed that Claire is old enough to stay home by herself for the summer rather than go to summer camp. Claire is looking forward to relaxing days hanging out with Ronan, who lives in the trailer next door, and Brianna who has just moved to an expensive house. But things start to go wrong right from the start when Brianna shows up with her cousin Eden who is much more sophisticated and quickly becomes the center of attention wherever she goes leaving Claire feeling like she can't even relate to her best friend. Closer to home, she is also having problems with Ronan who has become very moody ever since his father has come home. Claire has always been content with her life but she is beginning to resent things her friends have that she doesn't.
This is a good middle grades book a lot of kids could relate to. In fact, I can relate to Claire's feelings of jealousy because I don't have a house with a pool or an in-home theater like Brianna does. As such, I think the resolution of the book comes about a little too quickly because comparing yourself to your friends definitely continues to be an issue throughout high school. Despite that shortcoming I enjoyed the rest of the story and the eventual humanization of Eden who at first comes off like a real snob. And Ronan's troubles at home are not wrapped up so neatly as to be unrealistic.