Cynthia Toney s second book, 10 Steps To Girlfriend Status is a great read for anyone aged 10 to 100 The main character, Wendy is someone that teens could easily relate to Following her parent s divorce, her mother marries a man with two other children, a girl close to her age and her younger brother Wendy deals with so much conflict in this book First she s an only child who now must learn how to live with two siblings while going through all the trauma of going out with her first boyfriend Then she stumbles onto a mystery concerning an uncle who disappeared in the past while dealing with the heartbreak of a loved one that has Alzheimer s There s a lot going on in this book that I m not even revealing You ll fall in love with Wendy Robichaud She s such an honest, caring girl Not only with her family, but also with others around her, even when they don t make it easy I would highly recommend this book for any teen or pre teen girl, or even an all grown up girl like myself It s truly a great read, but get your tissues ready for that last chapter, you might just need them I wasn t sure what to expect when I started reading Cynthia Toney s 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status The title told me I was definitely venturing into teenager land The author handles some challenging topics with a deft hand and a feeling of authenticity Cynthia does a beautiful job of getting inside the head of a teenager living within the dynamic of a newly blended family Wendy, an innocent girl on the cusp of dating, rides the roller coaster of new relationships and adolescent emotions The depth of Wendy s heart is revealed in her friendship with Mrs V, a neighbor who has Alzheimer s and who happens to be involved in a family mystery I was deeply touched by this story and, as the mom of a teenager, I highly recommend it A Cajun Family Secret, Two Very Different Boys, And A Fight To Keep A Grandmother S Love Who Would Ve Guessed That Looking Through Old Photo Albums Could Get Wendy Into So Much Trouble Wendy Robichaud Is On Schedule To Have Everything She Wants At The Start Of High School Two Loyal Best Friends, A Complete And Happy Family, And A Hunky Boyfriend She S Had A Crush On Since Eighth Grade Until She And Mrs Villaturo Look At Old Photo Albums Together That S When Mrs V Sees Her Dead Husband And Hints At A S Family Scandal Down In Cajun Country Faster Than You Can Say Crawdad, Wendy Digs Into The Scandal And Into Trouble She Risks Losing Boyfriend David By Befriending Mrs V S Deaf Grandson, Alienates Stepsister Alice By Having A Boyfriend In The First Place, And Upsets Her Friend Gayle Without Knowing Why Will Wendy Be Able To Prevent Mrs V From Being Taken Thousands Of Miles Away And Will She Lose All The Friends She S Fought So Hard To Gain This Story Uses Humor And Hope To Address Issues Of Adapting To A Blended Family, Having A Loved One Suffering From Alzheimer S, And Struggling Through That First Innocent Romantic Relationship This is a great book for teens It deals with contemporary issues such as Alzheimer s disease, step families, and teen romance in a realistic, entertaining, and informative way It also includes a bit of a mystery that compels the reader to keep turning those pages I enjoyed learning about Bayou country. This was a fun book 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status by Cynthia Toney is a sweet story of Wendy Robichaud, a freshman in high school Wendy seems to have everything together She knows exactly what she wants and all the steps it will take to get it But she s in for a few surprises that throw her off her game When neighbor lady Mrs V, who Wendy loves dearly as if she were her own grandmother, begins to show signs of trouble, everything changes Wendy s attention is divided several ways She still wants to achieve girlfriend status, but now she wants to look after Mrs V, and Mrs V has just hinted there may be a scandalous mystery from the past Additionally, her mother has just remarried and her best friend has become her sister, adding struggles she hadn t foreseen into the mix.I loved the humor, fun writing style, and character development in this story, just as I did in the first book in this series, 8 Notes to a Nobody The characters do not fit neatly into any stereotypes, often seeming to surprise Wendy with their behavior My favorite character was Sam, the deaf grandson of Mrs V Too often we jump to conclusions about people with special needs or challenges, but Wendy soon discovers this character faces his own fears, goals, challenges, and needs, just like any teen I hope that Sam will be in the next book in this series While I particularly enjoyed watching the mystery of the scandal from the past unfold, I was able to relate to the challenges of fitting in and finding yourself in high school I remember how starting a new school threw everything in my life out of whack, and I often felt like a fish out of water This story shows the importance of deciding what type of person you want to be Wendy and all the characters grow in this story of friendship and forgiveness, a story teen and preteens are sure to enjoy. This past summer author Susan Peek posted a list of Catholic Teen Fiction a day for June, I believe the list originally comes from Theresa Linden Of the 30 books in the list I had already read and reviewed 20 of the titles and will likely read another 7 or 8 of them It has proved to be an introduction to some great stories I have discovered some authors that are now amongst my favourites But the title of the first book in this series, 8 Notes to a Nobody, really grabbed my attention And to be honest I had bought books 2 and 3 before even finishing book 1 So this book was the second by Cynthia T Toney, that I have read, but it will not be my last What I love about the books by Cynthia T Tooney is that they are good clean reads They are not overly preachy, but they do teach a lesson The characters do have struggles and often make mistakes But they are not smutty, they do not portray alternative lifestyles just for the sake of having it in the book It is realistic fiction much along the lines of Madeleine L Engle s Chronos books Now in this book we do have a blended family Or it takes place during the book Wendy Robichaud s life is coming together in a way that it has never been Her mother is remarrying and not only is she getting a step dad but one of her closest friends is about to become her sister She has a boy she is interested in, and he is interested in her as well But things quickly start to go sideways He elderly friend Mrs Villaturo is suffering from Alzheimer s But she has let a family secret out of the bag The Cajan side of her family, her father s side, has a secret And throw all of that plus school and Wendy s life has become far complicated than she ever wanted it to be.Part of the story revolves around her 10 steps to girlfriend status , which are 1 Meeting before school Check 2 Eating lunch together Check 3 Hand holding Check 4 Cheek kissing Check 5 Embracing.6 to find out the rest you will need to read the book.This book was an interesting read It does a great job of capturing high school, blending families and also dealing with Alzheimer s It was engaging and had a great pace and a few twists One in particular caught me completely by surprise The writing is very tight There are a few way I judge really good books First could I see myself rereading it Second can I think of people I would recommend it to right away And finally would I want to see my children read it when it is age appropriate This book scores well in all three categories This was a great read, and I am already anticipating reading book three And the latest book by Toney that was released this fall.Read the review on my blog Book Reviews and More and reviews of other books by Cynthia T Toney Note This book is part of a series of reviews 2017 Catholic Reading Plan 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status picks up where Book 1 in the Bird Face series left off but could be read as a standalone without any problem.Wendy is now a high school freshman, but that s not the only or biggest change in her life Her mother is about to remarry, which means the addition of a stepfather and two siblings as well as moving to a new house in a new neighborhood Her surrogate grandmother is diagnosed with Alzheimer s, and she s navigating her first boy girl relationship with crush David.The beautiful thing about 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status is that Cynthia Toney doesn t try to wrap it all up in a neat little package Like life, there are fits and starts bursts of maturity and clarity and slides into uncertainty and childishness In other words, it s real There are arguments, disappointments, and loss but also forgiveness, new beginnings, and hope.The strain in the relationship between Wendy and her step sister best friend Alice is spot on, repeated countless times the world over as one friend acquires a boyfriend before the other and an unintended rivalry is born Neither Wendy nor Alice handle it perfectly, but they learn and they forgive.The romance is sweet and perfect for young teens I loved the little tidbits of life on the Cajun bayou intertwined in the story A light mystery with a little history also adds a bit of suspense and intrigue The intergenerational relationships are refreshing, especially since so often teen stories are populated with only teens I received a complimentary copy for my honest review The author is a fellow member of the Catholic Writers Guild. Even though I m well in middle age, this book brought back all the uncertainty of first love The author s clever way of dealing with teenage girls common concern getting a boyfriend made the book fun to read.Wendy Robichaud is well on her way to getting the boy she wants But in her freshman year of high school, she must also deal with her mother s remarriage and the subsequent blended family, a beloved neighbor diagnosed with Alzheimer s, and of course, the jealousy and misunderstandings that go along with girlfriends and boyfriends Added in as a somewhat parallel story is a mysterious great uncle who was the subject of a scandal way back in the 1960 s.The mystery kept me reading, and Wendy learns some valuable lessons throughout the book about herself and relating to others as she navigates a rough freshman year where the rules of engagement aren t always clear Is it okay to be friends with other guys besides your boyfriend How old should you be before you start dating Why does love sometimes hurt And can friendship survive long distances If you re looking for a great book for a tween or young teen girl, this is the one I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Heartwarming heartening, this story for teens deals with first dates, new stepfamilies, jealousy, possible final goodbyes, and friendships put on shaky ground by all of the above 10 Steps deals with so many issues teenagers face, and the story does so with charm and aplomb This is a reading treat for any teen in your life This is the second book of Cynthia Toney s immensely enjoyable Bird Face series for Catholic teens After reading her first book, 8 Notes to a Nobody, I was eager to find out what happened next to the lovable character Wendy This story follows on with her mother s remarriage and Wendy s adjustment to a new family I love Toney s style She gets straight into the heart and mind of teenagers, and the plot is absorbing, well crafted, compassionate, and at times hilarious Yet within the lightheartedness of the book, there is much tragedy, soul searching, and heroism.The reason I withheld the fifth star is that the author seemed to condone divorce and remarriage within the confines of a book for Catholic teens I struggled with that But putting that aside, this is a very enjoyable novel by a highly talented author.
facebook.com birdfacewendy, on Twitter and Instagram CynthiaTToney, and on Pinterest.
- 202 pages
- 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status
- Cynthia T. Toney
- 23 December 2019 Cynthia T. Toney