Friday, July 6, 2018

Review - Swing It, Sunny

Swing It, Sunny (Sunny #2)
by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
Date: 2017
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Reading level: MG
Book type: graphic novel
Pages: 224
Format: e-book
Source: library

Summer's over and it's time for Sunny Lewin to enter the strange and unfriendly hallways of... middle school. When her Gramps calls her from Florida to ask how she's doing, she always tells him she's fine. But the truth? Sunny is NOT having the best time.

Not only is the whole middle school thing confusing... but life at home is confusing, too. Sunny misses her brother Dale, who's been sent to boarding school. But when Dale comes back, she STILL misses him... because he's changed.

Luckily Sunny's got her best friend and a mysterious new neighbor on her side... because she is NOT going let all this confusion get her down. Instead, she's going to remain Sunny-side up!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Well, that was just as underwhelming as the first book in the series.

I know this is middle grade, so you can't get too far into the darker themes, but I really don't get Sunny's brother. Something nasty has to be going on behind the scenes, because he's so messed up. The whole time I was reading it, I was thinking about things like secret abuse, or something going on in that family. It's implied that he's a delinquent "just because", and while that might be the way it sometimes is in real life, in fiction it just seems like lazy storytelling. (I don't think that synopsis is particularly accurate, either. Other than his haircut, Dale is pretty much the same troubled teenager he always was. I was hoping for a bit more character development there.)

Aside from that, the plot is non-existent. It's just a bunch of random scenes loosely connected by Sunny's feelings about missing her brother. She meets a new neighbour, learns to play with batons, and laughs at her little brother eating sand. That's about it. It's very sparse, and it comes to a halt so abruptly that I didn't realize for a moment that the book had ended. The resolution was pat. The actual ending was abrupt.

I didn't enjoy this one any more than the first book in the series. I think I'm done with Sunny.

Plot: 1/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing & Editing: 3/5
Illustration: 2/5
Originality: 1/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall Rating: 1.86 out of 5 ladybugs

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