About the Book
Book: Zoey: Meet the Misfits & Zoey: Odd Girl Out
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Middle grade fiction for girls
Release Date: April 15/ August 15, 2019
Zoey’s pretty sure her life is over when her wannaba-rockstar mother uproots her from from their home in Seattle and deposits her in Nowheresville, Oregon to live with her whackadoodle grandparents. Things start to look up, though, when she reconnects with Louisa, the girl from across the street. Maybe, just maybe, Louisa won’t mind that Zoey’s always been a bit of a misfit. Louisa’s ex-BFF, however, doesn’t seem too happy to welcome Zoey to the neighborhood. And when they all end up at church camp together, it’s not just a matter of whether or not Zoey can fit in…it becomes a firsthand lesson in what it really means to “love your enemy.”
When the school year begins, Zoey’s terrified to go without Louisa—who’s out with a nasty flu. The same enemies she made over the summer are there to haunt her, but she and another new girl stick together…and even seem to find a place among the in-crowd. But is this who Zoey wants to be? Are they really her friends? Who’s going to stick beside her when cyber bullying leaves her as the odd girl out?
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About the Author
Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.
More from Melody
Being a tween these days is more complicated than ever. With our culture’s fast pace, social networking, peer pressure . . . growing up is hard to do. So I wanted to create a relatable character with some tough challenges. And Zoey Petrizzo definitely gets more than her fair share. About to start middle-school, Zoey is forced to relocate her life with her less than conventional grandparents. And it’s not easy! My hope is that readers will either relate to Zoey, or develop more empathy for ‘misfit’ kids like her.
Meet The Misfits starts a series that is geared towards pre-teens. I found Zoe to be a perfect example of how most of us felt going to middle school. This is the age where you want to be cool and fit in. Zoe has come to live with her grandparents while her mom goes off to be in a rock band. That was kinda silly but it does show how some parents still have a dream they want to pursue.
I remember how awkward I felt in school with cat glasses , permed hair and clothing that was made by my mother. I was definitely an outcast and hated even speaking in class. I was bullied everyday until I decided to stand up to them. It deflated my bullies and they stopped bothering me. One thing I do remember is that even though the bullying stopped, it did leave a scar on me for many years.
Zoe meets a great friend in Louisa. Louisa is a great character who helps Zoe believe in herself and encourages her to trust in God. I loved the part about camp and how Zoe was a changed person because of something special that happens to her while at camp. Louisa is someone we would all want to be friends with. her family life is good and she shares her faith with Zoe and accepts her for who she is. One of the things I took away from this book was how this age group is vulnerable to finding their worth and wanting to be liked. The author does a good job of showing the struggles that every young person has experienced.
The author does an excellent job of showing how difficult it is to overcome bullying. There were times I wanted to give Zoe a hug as the bullying became almost too much to handle. The story is good but mostly light hearted and doesn't go into the extremes of bullying. I was hoping for a more realistic look at bullying and how hard it can be.
Zoe and Louisa become great friends and along the way try to fit in with their peers. It is a great lesson in self-esteem and loving each other even your enemies. The author does achieve the surface of what bullying is about and the struggle for someone to fit in at a new place. Zoe not only has been dumped on her grandparents but seem to be mostly on her own at times. The interaction with her grandparents is good, but i was hoping the author would explore the relationship better and have more hands on with Zoe and her struggles.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Odd Girl Out continues the story of Zoe who is now facing a new school. Her best friend is sick the first few days of school, so Zoe is really feeling uncomfortable. She had an eventful summer and hopes the bullying has stopped. Before I go any further I have to mention something that was very strange to me. There are a couple of words like blase, veneer and woozers that are not even remotely used by this age group.
Zoe meets a new girl at school named Taylor who I thought was going to be trouble right away. Taylor does try to discourage Zoe from worrying about the girls that have been bullying her, but to be fair wasn't Taylor doing the same thing by putting the girls down? I cringed when I heard Zoe being called ugly. Oh how I know what that feels like. Words do hurt and they linger in your thoughts for a long time.
It is so hard at this age to be confidant and comfortable with yourself and others. Zoe does a good job of not going overboard trying to be with the popular group. It did bring back memories for me and hard I struggled to fit in. Everyone knew my dad was a pastor so of course I was labeled the religious freak and goody two shoes. I was called ugly on a daily basis and I can still remember crying in my room every night.
The story is good and has some great words of wisdom. I liked what Taylor's dad said; " Just because you're good at something doesn't mean it is good for you." Taylor does mean well and is always encouraging Zoe but there are times she pushes too much. I think it is time for Zoe to start speaking up and following her heart. I loved that the author includes cyber bullying in the story. She does a great job of showing how it can be done and how harmful it can be. Overall the story is good and emphasizes the dangers of bullying and how easy it is to judge others.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion
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To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize package of Meet the Misfits and Odd Girl Out, Sketching Pencils, and a Sketchbook!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e809/meet-the-misfits-odd-girl-out-celebration-tour-giveaway