Lauren Myracle is one of the group of new authors in YA that continues to evolve. Her books include TTYL, a book that drove this older reader nuts because of the format (the story is told in IMs). It took me three times longer to read the book than my 14 year old. Not that I did not like the book. But I did not grow up texting and IM-ing and so have to read more slowly to decode. Hmmm, this might be something to research, huh? In any event, I loved this book as well as RHYMES WITH WITCHES. So, THE FASHION DISASTER THAT CHANGED MY LIFE made it to the top of my reading pile recently. Here is an intermediate grade novel that will speak volumes to the 5th through 7th grade crowd out there dealing with friendships, crushes, school, and all the other "disasters" of daily life when you are this age. It rings so true in terms of how the girls all interact with each other and how goofy some of the boys can be. Alli accidentally wears a pair of her mother's underwear stuck to her sweat pants to school. Of course, Jeremy, the pesty boy makes fun of her. Surprisingly, the ever-popular Rachel comes to her defense. When Alli begins to hang with Rachel, her old friends are upset. Alli discovers that even the popular kids can have flaws as she comes to take a stand for her older pals and for the hapless Jeremy as well.
Given that I have one of these 7th graders living under my roof, I can attest to the realistic characters Myracle has created. They are mercurial in their moods, fickle in their friendships, and generally a royal pain to their parents. It is good to see a novel like this available to the intermediate readers who are often stuck in a wasteland between chapter books, serial fiction, and YA that is beyond them developmentally.