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Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus

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“High School. Two words that struck fear into the heart of every armless middle schooler I knew. Which was me. And like two people online.” The sequel to the critically acclaimed Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus follows Aven Green as she confronts yet another challenge: high school. Just as Aven starts to feel comfortable in Stagecoach Pass, with her “High School. Two words that struck fear into the heart of every armless middle schooler I knew. Which was me. And like two people online.”   The sequel to the critically acclaimed Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus follows Aven Green as she confronts yet another challenge: high school.   Just as Aven starts to feel comfortable in Stagecoach Pass, with her friends and schoolmates accustomed to her lack of “armage,” everything changes once again. She’s about to begin high school . . . with 2,300 new kids to stare at her. And no matter how much Aven tries to play it cool, nothing prepares her for the reality. In a year filled with confusion, humiliation, fears, loss, and just maybe love, can Aven manage to stay true to herself?


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“High School. Two words that struck fear into the heart of every armless middle schooler I knew. Which was me. And like two people online.” The sequel to the critically acclaimed Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus follows Aven Green as she confronts yet another challenge: high school. Just as Aven starts to feel comfortable in Stagecoach Pass, with her “High School. Two words that struck fear into the heart of every armless middle schooler I knew. Which was me. And like two people online.”   The sequel to the critically acclaimed Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus follows Aven Green as she confronts yet another challenge: high school.   Just as Aven starts to feel comfortable in Stagecoach Pass, with her friends and schoolmates accustomed to her lack of “armage,” everything changes once again. She’s about to begin high school . . . with 2,300 new kids to stare at her. And no matter how much Aven tries to play it cool, nothing prepares her for the reality. In a year filled with confusion, humiliation, fears, loss, and just maybe love, can Aven manage to stay true to herself?

30 review for Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dusti Bowling

    I'm so excited to share more of Aven's adventures with you all! I hope you enjoy them!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kate ☀️ Olson

    (free review copy via @kidlitexchange ) I LOVED getting to go back into Aven's world and see how all of her friendships and other relationships evolved over time! Bowling expertly transitioned from a book ABOUT Aven's being differently abled (Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus) to a book about a teen girl's (who happens to have no arms) trials and tribulations. Mind you, this is a very important distinction as it takes us from and "issue" book to a "non-issue" book. I loved that (free review copy via @kidlitexchange ) I LOVED getting to go back into Aven's world and see how all of her friendships and other relationships evolved over time! Bowling expertly transitioned from a book ABOUT Aven's being differently abled (Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus) to a book about a teen girl's (who happens to have no arms) trials and tribulations. Mind you, this is a very important distinction as it takes us from and "issue" book to a "non-issue" book. I loved that evolution of Aven's story. Overall, I raced through the story and loved the depth and breadth of the characters and setting. I'll definitely be buying this for my elementary and middle school libraries. . PK-12 Librarian note: Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus is set during Aven's first year of high school, and while this makes sense given Aven's age in Insignificant, I personally and professionally think the entire series could have been set much younger, given how young it reads. If Insignificant were set in 5th or 6th grade, then Momentous could have been set in Aven's first year of middle school, which would have read more age-appropriate. Does the age really make a difference in the quality of the novel? Nope, not really, and elementary and early middle school readers won't care. However, my recommended age for this series is grades 3-6 - don't be misguided by the age of the characters into thinking this is anywhere close to mature middle grade or YA.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    This sequel takes Aven to her first year of high school. 3,000 students, but only 700 from her middle school. Her best friend, Connor, has moved across town and now attends a different school. Now, Aven and Zion have to tackle this new chapter on their own. And it's starting off worse than transferring middle schools ever was. Will Aven stay true to herself with so much confusion, hurt, and loss swarming around her? Pre-order this one now! You will want it in hand when it drops on September 17, This sequel takes Aven to her first year of high school. 3,000 students, but only 700 from her middle school. Her best friend, Connor, has moved across town and now attends a different school. Now, Aven and Zion have to tackle this new chapter on their own. And it's starting off worse than transferring middle schools ever was. Will Aven stay true to herself with so much confusion, hurt, and loss swarming around her? Pre-order this one now! You will want it in hand when it drops on September 17, 2019! I laughed, I cried, I didn't want it to end.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    So happy to get an early copy. Loved it! More soon...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I read this as a follow up to the first book about Aven, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. The tone and style of this book changed dramatically compared with the first book the first is definitely middle grade fiction; this one is more YA, and rightfully so. Aven has entered high school and things can be pretty rough in high school, more so if you're an outsider, an easy target to be picked on and bullied. The tone is more angsty. Aven has lost the confidence she had in the first I read this as a follow up to the first book about Aven, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. The tone and style of this book changed dramatically compared with the first book the first is definitely middle grade fiction; this one is more YA, and rightfully so. Aven has entered high school and things can be pretty rough in high school, more so if you're an outsider, an easy target to be picked on and bullied. The tone is more angsty. Aven has lost the confidence she had in the first novel, in which she built up Connor who struggles with Tourette's Syndrome. Of course, by the end of this novel, all is well and righted as it should be. Confidence is restored. And readers learn that sometimes the worst thing that could happen does happen, and one is still able to keep going. That's an important lesson to learn. I enjoyed the first book more, but it was nice to have a revisit with Aven.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emilia

    I didn't really like the cover and Aven was depressed for most of the book, so I didn't like it as much as the first book (one of my favorites!). Final verdict: 3.8 stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    What a treat to be back in the world of the fabulous and courageous Aven Green and her family and friends. When last we left her in Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus all was well in her world. She had two best friends in Connor and Zion, had solved the mystery of her birth and adoption, found her grandmother, and had made some important changes to the running of her family's theme park, Stagecoach Pass. But then everything changes when she enters high school in September as one of What a treat to be back in the world of the fabulous and courageous Aven Green and her family and friends. When last we left her in Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus all was well in her world. She had two best friends in Connor and Zion, had solved the mystery of her birth and adoption, found her grandmother, and had made some important changes to the running of her family's theme park, Stagecoach Pass. But then everything changes when she enters high school in September as one of 3,000 students, and only 700 of them are from her middle school. Unfortunately Connor isn't one of those 700 students. He's now at a school on the other side of town to be closer to his dad. It's a whole new world and a whole new set of rules. Students there aren't just curious and uninformed, or ask silly questions like they did in middle school. Now there are way too many unfriendly stares, and Aven finds herself on the receiving end of some nasty and hurtful bullying for the first time in her life. Yeah, school can really suck sometimes. Especially when you're surrounded by people who don't take the time to get to know you or believe that different equals weird or freakish. Luckily Aven has a wonderful support system of terrific parents and friends who don't let her forget how awesome she is or how much she's achieved or just how truly brave she is. I loved this sequel just as much as the first book and read it all in one sitting. Is it too much to hope for a third book?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brandy

    This sequel to Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus is a must read! Aven is back, and though she is starting high school, this is very much a middle grade book. Family, friends, life changes... this book has everything a middle grade reader would want, all wrapped up in Aven's amazing sense of humor and viewpoint! To know her is to love her!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    I am so grateful Dusti wrote this story. I hope middle school and high school students read this book. More to be said on the blog soon...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lizz Axnick

    I was so looking forward to reading this book and was even more excited to receive an ARC! However, I just didn't feel this book the same way I did with the first one in the series. However, I think I would continue to follow Aven's character indefinitely because she is just so amazing. The backstory is about a young woman who lives in a "theme park" called Stagecoach Pass in Arizona. Her family moved there for her last year in middle school and this year she is starting high school. What makes I was so looking forward to reading this book and was even more excited to receive an ARC! However, I just didn't feel this book the same way I did with the first one in the series. However, I think I would continue to follow Aven's character indefinitely because she is just so amazing. The backstory is about a young woman who lives in a "theme park" called Stagecoach Pass in Arizona. Her family moved there for her last year in middle school and this year she is starting high school. What makes Aven unique, however, is that she was born without arms. However, this does not stop her from accomplishing amazing teenage feats, like navigating high school and horseback riding. Aven struggles in this book with coping with the switch to high school and the idiot bullies that come along with it. Aven is a beautiful, strong and amazing young woman but she seems to forget that after a cruel prank is played on her and most of the book is her trying to get her mojo back. I read the first book, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus and I loved it. Aven is based on a real person the author read about or actually met, I forget which. I am fascinated with Aven's ability to adapt and what a rock star she is. I love her steadfast friends and her wonderful family characters as well. I would definitely read a third, fourth, fifth, etc. installment in this series!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    Dusti Bowling gives readers more of the unsinkable Aven, her family, friends, and life at Stagecoach Pass in the follow-up to 2017's Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (which also happens to be one of my favorite middle grade books ever). Aven, a middle grader born with no arms; her best friends, Connor, a boy with Tourette's and Zion, a boy with weight problems, formed a tight-knit group of kids who could lean on each other, strengthen one another, and - because what are friends for? Dusti Bowling gives readers more of the unsinkable Aven, her family, friends, and life at Stagecoach Pass in the follow-up to 2017's Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (which also happens to be one of my favorite middle grade books ever). Aven, a middle grader born with no arms; her best friends, Connor, a boy with Tourette's and Zion, a boy with weight problems, formed a tight-knit group of kids who could lean on each other, strengthen one another, and - because what are friends for? - drive one another nuts. Insignificant Events is a brilliant novel with characters that become part of you the first time you meet them, so to learn that Dusti Bowling was giving us another book about Aven and Company was just the news myself, and so many other readers, needed. Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus changes the game on Aven and her friends once more. Just in time to start high school, Connor's moved away and makes a new friend. A new female friend. Trying not to let jealousy get to her, she works on affecting indifference, but a cruel prank by some of of the Mean Boys (yep, they exist, and you know exactly who they are) in school devastates Aven, sending her into a PTSD-like spiral of anxiety and depression. Lando, Zion's older brother, seems interested in Aven, but she can't imagine - especially while continuing to be bullied by the creep that pranked her - that he'd be interested in her, which makes her more miserable. There's a subplot where Aven wonders about her father while trying to find Henri's - the ice cream man at Stagecoach Pass - family as his dementia gets worse, that put my emotions through the ringer. There's so much taking place in Momentous Events. Aven and her friends are struggling with adolescence and the things that come with it; namely, shifting friendships, crushes, and first relationships. Aging, death, and family - especially when you know there are family members "out there" somewhere - take up huge parts of Aven's thinking and feelings here. A new friend on the scene introduces Aven to fictional punk rock band Screaming Ferret, which gives her a new outlet for her feelings and makes me very happy; each chapter begins with a Screaming Ferret lyric, giving readers a heads-up as to what Aven's mood may be for that chapter. There are no downsides to Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus. Dusti Bowling gives readers - yet again - incredible characters with messy lives; lives that we recognize, challenges we can understand, sympathize with, and appreciate; and she does it with humor, care, and feeling.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    Firstly, I did not read the first book in this series, although I have heard quite a bit about it. While reading the first book would have helped to know who the characters were, at times, and their backgrounds, I had absolutely no trouble sinking into this book. I recommend reading the first book but can't say there's a problem with picking up the second instead. Aven is entering high school, and after just getting settled into middle school, she's more than nervous at the idea of having to Firstly, I did not read the first book in this series, although I have heard quite a bit about it. While reading the first book would have helped to know who the characters were, at times, and their backgrounds, I had absolutely no trouble sinking into this book. I recommend reading the first book but can't say there's a problem with picking up the second instead. Aven is entering high school, and after just getting settled into middle school, she's more than nervous at the idea of having to adjust again. Especially since her best friend, Connor, is now on the other side of town, and the high school is over four times as big as middle school was. But she is 'blasé'. And ready to take it on...even though everyone stares at her...even though a cute guy suddenly seems interested in her...even though it might be tougher than she expected. There are several things I enjoyed about this book. Firstly, it's written with Aven going into high school, but still reads like a middle grade novel. While her age and the setting would normally throw this into the young adult category, it's exactly the kind of book older middle graders will appreciate. After all, they're nervous about high school and what awaits them...and this book hits exactly that. Secondly, Aven was born without arms, and while this obviously drives many aspects of the plot, the story itself doesn't really harbor on it. Of course, there are mentions of how she uses her toes to dial a phone and such, but it's not shoved in the reader's face. It makes this into a novel great for any kid who is uncomfortable about starting high school because they believe they'll stick-out or not fit in for some reason or another. And thirdly, the plot surrounds several aspects of Aven's life and gives her a very natural, rounded atmosphere. She has friends, she has family, and she has things outside of school which help balance her even when drama hits. She's a strong girl, who tackles insecurities and bullies in a realistic, healthy way. The pacing is very well done. It's an easy read and holds attention until the very last page without weighing down with Aven's issues. It was a little interesting how many characters have issues, though. Plus, I was a little surprised by the supposed bullying event, which spiraled her into depression. While gentle, the event was exactly that—gentle. Considering everything she goes through and must go through (reality of how harsh kids can be), it was not believable that something like that could influence her so easily. Still, it will fit for more sensitive readers at the middle grade level, and her tale of finding herself again and fighting through still resonates with the reader. Add her lovely insights, friendship which never ends, and a dash of humor, and it's a read to recommend. I received an ARC copy and enjoyed the story very much. So, I'm happy to leave my honest thoughts!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Doyon

    “Sometimes the friends you make aren’t the ones you expected. And sometimes the place you find yourself in isn’t the place you were hoping for. And sometimes, if you keep an open mind, you’ll find they’re so much better than what you imagined.” In Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus Dusti Bowling continues the story of Aven Green, a young woman who was born without both of her arms. This novel’s story focuses on her newest adventure: high school. As many of us remember from our own “Sometimes the friends you make aren’t the ones you expected. And sometimes the place you find yourself in isn’t the place you were hoping for. And sometimes, if you keep an open mind, you’ll find they’re so much better than what you imagined.” In Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus Dusti Bowling continues the story of Aven Green, a young woman who was born without both of her arms. This novel’s story focuses on her newest adventure: high school. As many of us remember from our own journeys, it does not begin smoothly and Aven begins to doubt herself, her friends and her dreams. Will she be able to navigate her way through this new life and be comfortable in her own skin again? Reading this novel brought me right back to the anxiety of those early high school days, where you are second-guessing everything you thought you knew about yourself and the world you’ve created. I think the author did a fantastic job of keeping Aven’s voice true throughout the novel, even through all the turmoil she encounters. The themes of friendship, loyalty and confidence are still present here. Her friend Connor does take a step back in this story, but Zion is still in Aven’s life, and new friends are introduced. I promise you will love them just as much. Highly recommend this story to students in grades 4 and up.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    So great to revisit the world of Stagecoach Pass and Aven’s circle of family and friends. I liked that the dynamics were shaken up significantly with Connor and Jo being disconnected in some way. I’m glad that Aven’s relationship with Zion was explored and strengthened. His anger with her because she didn’t listen to him (twice) was a bit heavy handed, but these are teenagers, after all. The tone of this book was very different from the first- Aven is sad, anxious and afraid for much of the So great to revisit the world of Stagecoach Pass and Aven’s circle of family and friends. I liked that the dynamics were shaken up significantly with Connor and Jo being disconnected in some way. I’m glad that Aven’s relationship with Zion was explored and strengthened. His anger with her because she didn’t listen to him (twice) was a bit heavy handed, but these are teenagers, after all. The tone of this book was very different from the first- Aven is sad, anxious and afraid for much of the story. Normally this is MY JAM, but it doesn’t work perfectly here. Either the author went too far, or quite possibly not far enough into self-destructive despair. But it’s the parents that made me crazy in this book. Yes, you want to teach your child independence, but they seemed irresponsible here. How could they not see her struggling, depressed, anxious, traumatized? And how could they let Henry flounder with no help? I mean, clearly the mom knew he was experiencing bouts of confusion, but the only one regularly checking up on him is a 14 year old? In any case, I loved the punk lyrics at the beginning of each chapter, and how her romantic feelings re Lando and Connor remain confusing and unresolved. Rang quite true. 4 stars, 6th-8th grade.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shaye Miller

    If you've read Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, then surely you've grown attached to Aven, Connor, and Zion.These characters shared the misfortune of being left out, bullied, and ignored for much of their lives before finding comfort in one another. Well in book #2, Zion is still fairly timid, struggling to make eye contact. Connor still has continual tics due to Tourette syndrome. And Aven is still armless, obviously. But things are pumped up a notch as the friends enter high If you've read Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, then surely you've grown attached to Aven, Connor, and Zion. These characters shared the misfortune of being left out, bullied, and ignored for much of their lives before finding comfort in one another. Well in book #2, Zion is still fairly timid, struggling to make eye contact. Connor still has continual tics due to Tourette syndrome. And Aven is still armless, obviously. But things are pumped up a notch as the friends enter high school with Connor going to a different school across town AND Aven attracting the attention of one of the most popular high school athletes. School aside, there are plenty of other happenings in Stagecoach Pass: their beloved llama, Spaghetti, appears to be very ill, Henry's memory seems to be worsening, Josephine is navigating her new life in an assisted living community, Aven is learning to jump a horse, and she suddenly has a desire to find her biological father. I LOVED THIS SECOND BOOK!!! I can't even express how happy I was to be reunited with these lovely characters. I adore Aven's quirky sense of humor and the way she faces and resolves conflict with her friends. I laughed and cried throughout the story, feeling all the feels. It's no surprise that book #1 still has a 4.34 Goodreads rating and book #2 already has a STARRED review from Kirkus. Do yourself a favor and pre-order it right now! For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie Reilley

    I am fortunate to be part of this book's launch team and received an ARC to read and review. Picking up shortly after the end of Insignificant Events, Aven is getting ready to begin a new chapter in her life...high school. With a new school comes change, of course. From 700 students to 3,000, and without Connor (who's moved across town and attends a different school), Aven and Zion work together to battle the beast known as high school. When Aven is challenged in ways she's never experienced I am fortunate to be part of this book's launch team and received an ARC to read and review. Picking up shortly after the end of Insignificant Events, Aven is getting ready to begin a new chapter in her life...high school. With a new school comes change, of course. From 700 students to 3,000, and without Connor (who's moved across town and attends a different school), Aven and Zion work together to battle the beast known as high school. When Aven is challenged in ways she's never experienced before, her voice and confidence become shaken. With the help of Zion, Connor, and a new cast of characters, Aven learns what it means to be true to who she is. Other things to love: each chapter opens with lyrics from author-created punk songs. I can see these becoming mantras for some readers. Comic-con and comic book references throughout, as well as another Aven mystery to solve. With themes of friendship, family, and truth to oneself, I highly recommend this sequel to all middle grade readers. Release date is scheduled for September 17, 2019. Be sure to preorder!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Whitt

    I am fortunate to be part of this book's launch team and received an ARC to read and review. The sequel of Insignificant Events brings Aven to high school. With a new school comes change and Aven's confidence is tested. After losing Connor (to a move), Aven and Zion, with Zion's older brother Lando, set out to make the most of this new school. Aven finds strength in people and places that she did not expect and works through the turmoil that high school and growing up can bring to anyone, even I am fortunate to be part of this book's launch team and received an ARC to read and review. The sequel of Insignificant Events brings Aven to high school. With a new school comes change and Aven's confidence is tested. After losing Connor (to a move), Aven and Zion, with Zion's older brother Lando, set out to make the most of this new school. Aven finds strength in people and places that she did not expect and works through the turmoil that high school and growing up can bring to anyone, even with arms. Your heart will cringe and break with hers as she moves through typical adolescent struggles and root for her at her every step of the way. Aven's voice is strong throughout this story and it makes readers love her even more, leaving us wondering what will be next for Aven? College? Release date is scheduled for September 17, 2019. Be sure to preorder, you don't want to miss this one!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Aven continues to be a captivating leading lady. Bowling deftly communicates just how adept Aven has become at living life without arms in a world built for such appendages. Spaghetti, the llama, shares Aven's affections with Chili, the horse, and Fathead, the tarantula rescue. Connor has relocated to spend more time with his dad and is not as strongly featured as in the first book. I missed his friendship with Aven being such a prominent theme. Connor's geographical distance, however, does Aven continues to be a captivating leading lady. Bowling deftly communicates just how adept Aven has become at living life without arms in a world built for such appendages. Spaghetti, the llama, shares Aven's affections with Chili, the horse, and Fathead, the tarantula rescue. Connor has relocated to spend more time with his dad and is not as strongly featured as in the first book. I missed his friendship with Aven being such a prominent theme. Connor's geographical distance, however, does allow Zion to grow as a character since he and Aven start high school together. Their growing friendship allows the upcoming Comic Con to take prominence and we find Zion's family playing a strong role in "Momentous." The strongest story line centers around Aven's "Great Humiliation" and her decision to take action and move one -- definitely a highlight for me. If you like Bowling's other titles you will find this one is a strong addition to her list of accomplishments. Thank you to Sterling Children's and Edelweiss for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Clare Lund

    I absolutely ADORED this sequel to Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus! I received an ARC as a member of the book's launch team, but am not being compensated for my reviews. As Aven starts high school, she is faced with a new level of bullying she has never experienced before, causing her to lose her confidence. Through the help of Connor, Zion, and a new cast of friends, Aven learns a lot about what it means to be true to herself. I loved the references to comic books and punk rock, and I absolutely ADORED this sequel to Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus! I received an ARC as a member of the book's launch team, but am not being compensated for my reviews. As Aven starts high school, she is faced with a new level of bullying she has never experienced before, causing her to lose her confidence. Through the help of Connor, Zion, and a new cast of friends, Aven learns a lot about what it means to be true to herself. I loved the references to comic books and punk rock, and the subplot with Henry was so touching -- that last scene in the hospital caught me off guard and definitely choked me up. I highly recommend this sequel for ages 10 and up!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stacey DeCotis (Reading in the Middle Grades)

    Aven is back with her wit and humor! As she starts high school with 3,000 kids her strength and confidence is tested. Connor has moved and won’t be part of her new experience. Zion warns her about a boy who is giving her attention. Henry is starting to lose his memory and Aven has to deal this all and more. Written in such a smart way with each chapter giving cool lyrics to punk bands, Dusti Bowling does it again to make this book unputdownable. Fans of Aven will laugh and cry as she navigates Aven is back with her wit and humor! As she starts high school with 3,000 kids her strength and confidence is tested. Connor has moved and won’t be part of her new experience. Zion warns her about a boy who is giving her attention. Henry is starting to lose his memory and Aven has to deal this all and more. Written in such a smart way with each chapter giving cool lyrics to punk bands, Dusti Bowling does it again to make this book unputdownable. Fans of Aven will laugh and cry as she navigates the ups and downs of the start of high school. Come out September 2019!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I was in love with Aven Green from the moment she gave her first crazy reason for not having arms. She is one of my favorite fictional characters and I couldn't wait for this sequel to arrive! Just as entertaining as "Insignificant Events," Aven is now navigating the pitfalls of high school. A safe read for any age - Dusti Bowling can tell a story that's entertaining at any age. Keep on writing!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katja

    Really sweet YA story about an armless girl facing high school life in a very quirky and uinque setting, namely an Arizona Wild West theme park. I had a lot of problems with the first book in this series, mainly the squeaky clean characters, the (in my opinion) overly positive attitude of the main character and the "you can do anything you want" mantra. None of these problems existed in the second instalment, on the contrary, there was a lot of teen angst, low self esteem, crappy behavior Really sweet YA story about an armless girl facing high school life in a very quirky and uinque setting, namely an Arizona Wild West theme park. I had a lot of problems with the first book in this series, mainly the squeaky clean characters, the (in my opinion) overly positive attitude of the main character and the "you can do anything you want" mantra. None of these problems existed in the second instalment, on the contrary, there was a lot of teen angst, low self esteem, crappy behavior towards friends and cruel bullying. Sure, the ending was a bit Hollywood again, but hey, it's a YA novel and we all need some can-do-feeling in our life (and "fighting the man" is always good). I loved the side characters, the geekiness of Zion's family, Henry, Spaghetti and Aven's grumpy grandma. Fully recommended!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deanna Siegel

    A fantastic sequel from Bowling. Aven and her friends are back and starting high school. Aven faces some intense bullying, causing her to withdraw from family and friends. I would have liked a little bit more of Connor, but I thought it was such a solid novel overall. I loved being back in Aven’s world and I even teared up towards the end. This is a group of characters I want to endlessly follow.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Plourde

    I adore Aven--such a complex character. The first half of the book was kind of slow, but I was cheering loudly for Aven and her friends by the end!

  25. 5 out of 5

    LouAnne

    A great sequel!!! The best books have characters I want to meet and I want to go to Stagecoach Pass for ice cream. Also had to check out the punk band We Are Librarians!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeimy

    My favorite thing was the faux punk lyrics. However, this book was too predictable and tried too hard to make its point come across.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    AVEN! Ya did it again. Took my heart and made me laugh and cry. Such rich characters! Who wouldn't want to spend more time with them??

  28. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Loved this as much as Insignificant! Aven is the best.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    4.5 and rounding up. Aven and friends linger in my brain...Bowling created a great story!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    I love Aven!!! So many beautiful lines hit home, but this one made me laugh out loud: "(My hair) looked like I traveled exclusively via rollercoaster."

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