Review: Small Medium at Large

Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy
Release Date ~ June 29th (Canada) & July 3, 2012 (US)
Bloomsbury Kids
ISBN13: 9781599908366
ARC received from author

Goodreads Synopsis:
After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her overopinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel.
Joanne Levy's a local author to this area, and I was so excited when she offered to send me an ARC of her debut Middle grade novel- and I was so pleased to enjoy Small Medium at Large, even though it's fairly different from my typical choice of books.
An adorable middle grade novel, there were so many facets to love about this one- and I could easily see younger readers thoroughly enjoying this one, and even older fans of MG books for its sweet story and even sweeter heroine.
  1. A superstar heroine:

    Oh, I just ADORED Lilah as a character! She's so sweet and well-intentioned, and she has these incredibly embarrassing moments at times that she totally shines during, regardless of how embarrassed she is. They're scenarios that could happen to any 12 year old girl (12 year old Brenna can remember feeling tha tway, at times) but I was amazed at how well she continually bounced back. She's exactly the kind of girl younger girls will be able to relate to, but she has this quiet kind of confidence that you can't help but admire for - exactly the kind of girl I'd want the preteen/teen girls I know reading about. She knows what's important in life and doesn't let things hold her down.
  2. Uplifting family dynamics:

    Not all families are perfect, but I really appreciate reading about some who try their best and you can tell truly love and care for each other. The Blooms are a perfect example of that, and Lilah's relationship with her father is particularly touching. They're incredibly close, in their own way, and work hard to support each other as much as they can.
  3. A healthy dose of reality:

    I like that life isn't all sunshine & rainbows perfection in the story. There's divorce and cancer and death (well, clearly since there are ghosts) and bullying. But Lilah doens't let that affect her in a bad way, and it doesn't change her character. She makes mistakes and learns from them - but more importantly she knows to admit when she's wrong. Similarily, other characters learn from their own pain,  are possible ways to move on and let things go.
There were a few times I felt like Lilah's voice "slipped" and she came across as far older than a 12 year old girl - for example, I really don't know that many preteens who throw around the word "ogle" so casually. It can happen, sure, but I didn't feel like there was enough of an explanation for it (besides casually mentioning that she likes Scrabble - I think that could have been played up a bit more to explain her character and why her vocabulary is so impressive most of the time).

And definitely be prepared for a book that's very much a MG read - I know that should be a given, but I also want readers to be clear that it's a very quick read, with a straightforward and enjoyable story. Everything is neatly resolved and tied up by the end, leaving the reader with a satisfying conclusion.

Purchase Links
United States


Christina said...

Ooh, yay! Glad you liked it. I've been looking forward to this one for sure. :)

Celine said...

I haven't heard of this book before but it sounds really interesting and cute! I probably need to add this book to my TBR! ;)

Awesome review, Esther! ♥ Glad you enjoyed it! :)

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