The Crepe Makers' Bond by Julie Crabtree.*
The sequel to Discovering Pig Magic (main character, Mattie) has as its protagonist Mattie’s longtime best friend, Ariel.
Ariel loves to cook; it’s her joy and her ambition. The story begins the night before the first day of eighth grade. Ariel is stressed about what to wear, and can’t sleep, so she stays up until nearly midnight making sesame cucumber salad.
Apart from her love of cooking, Ariel is a relatively typical 13-year-old girl who worries about her appearance, her grades, and what other people think of her. But she has two very close friends, Mattie, who she has known almost all her life, and Nicki, who moved to their town just before fifth grade.
Mattie’s parents are divorced and her mother gets a new job in another town. Devastated that she’ll lose her best friend, Ariel convinces her parents to let Mattie move in with them for the remainder of the school year. But as close as Mattie and Ariel are, they’re not really family, and living together is a huge adjustment. Ariel finds herself annoyed about quirks of Mattie’s that amused her before.
Meanwhile, Nicki is suddenly spending a lot of time on the phone, with her cousin, she claims. Ariel is concerned, but believes Nicki’s assurances that everything is fine. However, when we do learn the reason for Nicki’s strange behaviour, it’s quite unbelievable.
The dynamic between the three friends is well depicted. The extreme reactions they have to little things are absolutely understandable for three girls in the throes of puberty.
Although it’s not necessary to have read Pig Magic before this book, it would certainly be helpful. And perhaps Nicki will make more sense in the likely forthcoming third book in the series.
*Many thanks to NetGalley for the review opportunity.