Welcome to Wittkop Reads. I am an Iowa teacher librarian in a shared middle school & high school library, and have recently begun my journey as a book reviewer. This blog will share my thoughts and updates on the Middle Grade and Young Adult books I am reading. Follow me here to keep up on what I am reading and recommending. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that you find something interesting to add to your "To be Read" list. Happy reading!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

100 Days by Nicole McInnes

Recommended for: Middle Grade, Teen and Young Adult Readers

Thank you Netgalley, MacMillan Children's Publishing Group and Nicole McInnes for selecting me to review a digital ARC of this book.  

100 Days is a novel about three very distinct characters who are leading very different lives.  Their three  lives once intersected when they were young, and now they have crossed paths again as high school students. 

Moira has always been considered, and considered herself, as the "fat girl".  She has grown up feeling left out, self-conscious, and uncomfortable in her own skin.  Her hippy parents don't seem to understand her, and her current fashion choices.  Moira has found that dressing in all dark colors and wearing caked on goth-like make-up makes her feel more comfortable.  It has also become her "armor" against the other kids making her look tough and unapproachable.  The only one who sees the true Moira is her best friend Agnes.

Agnes is the exact opposite of Moira in almost every way.  She loves pink, princesses, and all things girly.  She is also super small, because of a rare disease she was diagnosed with as a baby.  Agnes has Progeria, a disease that causes her body to age at about 10 times the normal rate.  She is almost sixteen now and her small body resembles a very old person.  She suffers from brittle bones and joints, heart conditions, and other issues that are typical to the elderly.  Her body is struggling to keep up with her, and she has already lived far longer than anyone expects with her condition.  

Boone is a big hulky guy who has always struggled with school.  Nothing academic comes easily for him and he was often teased for being "dumb".  Because of his problems with learning and a family tragedy, he also harbors a lot of anger and tends to get into trouble with his classmates.  Until just recently he spent his days in the alternative classroom where he felt very safe and was making a lot of progress academically.  Unfortunately the program was cut and Boone has been thrust back into the general population, which he hates.  At home he tries his best to be the man of the house and take care of his struggling mother and their farm, but money is extremely tight and he is struggling to keep it all together.

Moira, Agnes, and Boone's stories started with a friendship in middle school that was fractured because of an incident none of them can forget.  Now their lives have crossed again and during this 100 day glimpse into their lives we get a chance to see the 3 of them attempt to work through their personal struggles, lose themselves, find themselves, and also find each other again.

I truly enjoyed this middle school/young adult contemporary novel.  Each character was well developed, and as a reader, I felt very connected and invested in their lives.  Their distinct personalities made the dialogue believable and endearing.  McInnes balances the tough times with times of joy, humor, and self growth leaving me very satisfied with the trio and the closing of their journey together.  I will happily recommend this book to both my middle and high school readers.