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Title: Everyday Angel #2: New Beginnings
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
My Everyday Angel #1: New Beginnings ReviewMy Everyday Angel #1: New Beginnings Pre-Reading
Synopsis: Meet a guardian angel like no other, from a writer like no other. Bold, rising star Victoria Schwab returns with the second book in this whimsical, inspiring, and clever middle-grade series.
There's more to Aria than meets the eye. She's a guardian angel. And to earn her wings, she'll have to help three different girls....
This time, Aria comes to Caroline Maso
When Aria arrives, she can see Caroline is suffering. But, to Aria's surprise, so is Lily. What is the story behind Lily's cruel actions? And can Aria help guide Caroline out of the darkness ... and into better, brighter future?
At her all-girls' prep school, Caroline is being bullied. She eats lunch alone and is picked on by her classmates every day. The ringleader of the mean girls is Lily Pierce. But Lily isn't an ordinary bully: she used to be Caroline's best friend.
Review: I absolutely love Victoria Schwab's books. I pre-order them whenever they're available, and I read them as soon as I get them. Her Everyday Angel books are no exception - they're just as wonderful and powerful and the characters are just so well-developed that I always forget they're written for middle grade audiences.
Aria is my favorite, and I'm glad the books are mostly focused around her. She's the only recurring character, although the girl and situations from the first book are mentioned in passing, so it was really easy to dive head first in to this one even though I'd read New Beginnings a while ago. Aria is a little different in this book - she's learned some things about the world and she's maturing. But her personality is still the same, and she's still spunky and colorful and incredibly helpful.
I also really enjoyed that this book deals with bullying and friendships and how quickly relationships can change. I think it's an important lesson for young girls (and boys) to learn. Sometimes friends stop being your friends and bullies are mean, but just because one person or group is a bunch of bullies doesn't mean everyone is a bully. I felt so bad for Caroline, and then I actually started to feel bad for Lily too. I love how Victoria can just turn a villain into a misunderstood character, and no one is ever really bad or really good in her books.
This book, and this series, is definitely written for a younger audience. The girls are very young and not interested in romantic relationships (which would feel ridiculously out of place if there were any in this series), and they're mostly still very close with their families. There are a lot of really good life lessons in these books for kids who might be struggling with any number of things, and it's presented in such a way that it isn't preachy or boring or anything like that.
I would definitely recommend Second Chances to anyone who has read New Beginnings, and I would recommend the series to fans of MG books that have a little bit of a paranormal twist but are mostly contemporary. I also think young girls would really enjoy these books - I know I would have loved them when I was in elementary school and going to the Scholastic book fairs! - and I'm sure there are some young boys out there who would like them too. I personally am looking forward to the last book in this series to see if Aria finally gets her wings! 4/5.