Book Description via Goodreads:
Paperback, 282 pages
December 6, 2011, Thomas Nelson Publishers
Just when April Grace thought the drama was over . . .
After an automobile accident, Isabel St. James-resident drama coach and drama queen-needs help putting together the church play. Mama insists April Grace and Myra Sue will help. April's fall is now devoted to spending every afternoon with Isabel and Myra Sue-if anyone is as big of a drama queen as Isabel, it's Myra Sue. Plus, she's dumb. (Okay, not dumb, but "older sister dumb.") If that's not enough, Isabel is wreaking havoc in the community trying to get Rough Creek Road paved, the new boy at school will "not" leave her alone, and then Mama drops the biggest bombshell of all . . . April Grace is no longer going to be the baby of the family . . .
Girls will completely relate to April and love her sense of humor as she deals with siblings, boys, and the many changes that come with growing up.
Source: Thomas Nelson/BookSneeze (Thank you!)
Cliques, Hicks and Ugly Sticks is about April Grace and her life. April’s life was full of action – or problems. Her family was helping a couple – Isabel and Ian – and letting them stay at their house. Isabel was overly dramatic and problematic in general. After the accident, things were bound to be messier. On top of that, her mother was acting weird and looking really sick. Her sister, Myra Sue was obsessed with Isabel. Middle Grade wasn’t exactly how April thought it would be.
The beginning of the novel was a bit slow for me. I would’ve wanted to dive into the novel right away. I think it would have been better if the author started with April first. The transition from elementary school to middle grade was not as smooth as she would like it to be. Suddenly, everyone she knew transformed into total strangers. Her classmates from elementary started acting strange (for her,) trying to be cool. One of her friends, Lottie, leader of the mean girl clique, acted as if they’ve never been friends. Cliques, Hicks and Ugly Sticks presented common issues and problems that tweens and teens will be able to relate to.
April’s voice was distinct throughout the novel. I felt a sense of familiarity as I read the novel, as if I was just watching a TV Show. I noticed that some readers find ‘preachy’ novels awkward to read. Don’t worry, this isn’t one of them. At times I found myself stopping, disengaged from the story but all in all, Cliques, Hicks and Ugly Sticks is a light read injected with drama and humor. I recommend this to tweens, teens and people who like realistic fiction.