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Monday, April 30, 2018

MG Review: Sunny

Sunny by Jason Reynolds

Published: April 10th, 2018 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Genre: Contemporary MG
Binding: ARC
Page Count: 159 in my ARC, but my ARC says the count will be 176.
Part of a series? This is book three of the "Track" series, of which I assume there will be four books.
Got via: I was sent it for review consideration!
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Sunny Lancaster is a winner. Wih-winner. When it comes to the 1600 meter, Sunny can beat anyone by, well, a mile. But for Sunny, winning is boring. Buh-boring. Truth is, Sunny doesn't like running. Never has. What Sunny really loves... is dancing.

The boom-bap bap of his teacher. Aurela's dance routines beats the chick chick chick of his track meets any day. Sunny loves his team, though, so he can't quit, but he also can't be on a track team not run. And he definitely can't be on a track team and dance. But it turns out track isn't just chick chick chick. It's also whoosh whoosh ahh.

If Sunny lets loose everything he's been holding inside, will it be his best move ever, or will it be his biggest mistake?

Review: So this is the part where I can just say it was awesome and then I'm done, right? Honestly I just really enjoy this series, and this was a great addition. Sunny has a very different voice compared to Patina (*cough* I still haven't read Ghost because I'm terrible), and it's a very approachable voice. While it's not said in the book, I wondered if he had ADHD or something similar, and thought that kids with something like that would really relate to Sunny, who does mention struggles with keeping his thoughts quiet and stuff like that.

Plot Talk: I'll mention this here since it fits best here of anywhere else. Sunny's books is told through diary entries, and is also quite a bit shorter than Patina and I assume Ghost. It would be very approachable for a selective reader, as it's quite a thin book with a larger print. I always enjoyed those as a kid. It doesn't fall down on plot for that format, though, dealing with Sunny's decision to switch from running to discus, and his relationship with his father.

Characters: I do think the shorter length and format do lean towards a tiny bit less development for other characters. Particularly, while Sunny does feel close to his team, they don't get as much screentime as his family, and the focus is definitely more on that, at least for me. Everyone gets a moment, at least, to shine, and the coach especially continues to be really great, but it's just kind of the nature of a shorter book.

Sunny's voice, though, is great, and carries the book. He has a very unique way of looking at people, and talking about then, and it's great. He's rambly, and he thinks in terms of music/sounds/beats, I guess you'd describe it? (My squareness is showing.) It's unique, though, and I really liked it. I actually copied the html over from the goodreads page as well so you could get an idea of some of the way the book is told.

PG-13 stuff: This does has some serious stuff. Sunny and his homeschool teacher/mother's best friend visit people in the hospital, and one of them goes into a coma at the end. His teacher also has a history of drug addiction, and the book does talk about that. I think the way the book handles that is great, honestly. It's all filtered through Sunny's eyes and POV, and even a little more than usual since it's in his diary entries, and it comes off as incredibly realistic. The grief element about Sunny's mom could also be upsetting for readers who have gone through similar thing, but it's also handled very well. Not a complaint, just a note, since different readers have different needs.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: I got like nothing. I liked the heck out of this thing.

Cover comments: I love them, but it does irk me just a tiny bit that they don't go in rainbow order. They go yellow, orange, then green. That's not the right order XD

Conclusion: Short freaking review, but there's not a ton to say here and honestly if this was a library book instead of a review book, I probably wouldn't have even bothered with this type of format and would have just done it as a "Things" post. It's a great book and I don't say a ton about it to say how good it is.

I also appreciate that you can pretty much read these as standalones. While it being a series builds on each book, and they do have continuity, they have enough separatism that a kid could pick one of these up and read it, and if they didn't want to read the others, or didn't have access to them, it'd be fine for them. That's neat. Four and a half out of five roses 'cause honestly I don't really have any compaints. It's a great MG.

Thanks for reading!

Peace and cookies,

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