Dear Aubrey by Susan Halter was book recommended to me by a friend. I had read some of Halter’s other short stories, but this is the first YA book I’ve read from her and I adored it.
(Goodreads has a different cover for this book, this one is from Amazon)
The quick overview is that Poppy is a high schooler who works for the school newspaper. Due to a pact with her best friend, she’s spent her time in high school focusing on grades and avoiding boys, parties, and popularity. When she starts a anonymous column for the school and her advice becomes teenage-law, she has to battle with the consequences of her deception and the struggle with being respected in writing, but ignored in person. Of course, there’s also the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tutor her long time crush and the new-school transfer. Boy trouble, parent trouble, sibling trouble, and friend trouble are all part of this heartfelt story.
Poppy is a unique character. She has no athletic ability, is more soft spoken than in-your-face, epitomizes wholesome…and she’s absolutely lovable. Her self-doubts are believable, her moments of strength empowering, and goodness inspiring. I loved the depth in this character and how it is shown in the changes to her relationships with her friends, mom, brother, love-interest, and herself.
Here, I usually put a bit about the love interest, but there are so many great characters in this story, that I wanted to mention them instead. The old crush is great, it is fun watching Poppy come to understand the difference between her star-struck impression and who he has really become. The younger brother was well-written too. I feel like the author really nailed the younger age sarcasm. I liked the popular girls and that they were each made to be individuals and Poppy learned to see their struggles and heart. Poppy’s friends were great, conflicted characters as well and I’m hoping to see a book from their perspective soon!
I would recommend this to any YA fan. I’m looking forward to more of this from this author. Happy reading, my friends!