Hilary has one goal for her first year in junior high: to become popular. But her plans are turned upside down when her best friend leaves for the summer and a quirky girl named Kallie moves in next door. Kallie paints constellations on her ceiling, sleeps in a hammock, and enacts fantastical plays in front of cute boys on the beach. Yet despite Kallie’s lack of interest in being “cool,” Hilary and Kallie find themselves becoming friends. That summer friendship, however, is put to the test when school begins, reigniting Hilary's obsession with climbing the social ladder. As Hilary discovers the dark side to popularity, she must decide who she wants to be before she loses everything.
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At the age of seventeen, Hilary is persuaded to write her autobiography. She writes about the life-changing events in her life when she was twelve. That summer, her best friend Lynn goes to California, leaving Hilary on her own. Until Kallie moves in next door, someone so different to Lynn that Hilary doesn't think they can ever be friends. The girls slowly grow closer, but what will happen when summer ends, Lynn returns, and Hilary once again worries about what the "cool" girls think? This is a middle grade story about a twelve year old girl with body image issues. It is also a story about friendship, family, and bullying. The young girls in this book act so horribly towards each other, that it's often hard to read. It's so sad to think that these young girls are too afraid or embarrassed to seek help from their parents or teachers. Hopefully this book will help girls in similar situations realize that they are not alone. The final chapter takes us back to the beginning of the book when Hilary, now aged seventeen, summarizes the events of the last five years and reveals how she came to write her autobiography at such a young age. While not technically necessary, these chapters allow us to witness Hilary's growth and give us hope for the future. Warnings: bullying. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post (30 June): https://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-history-of-hilary-hambrushina-by-marnie-lamb.html