book review, Cici Reno: #MiddleSchoolMatchmaker, Kristina Springer, writing for children

Cici Reno — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero, but a bad novel tells us
the truth about its author.”
~ G. K. Chesterton ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Steven Pressfield has a good post HERE on the difference between subject and theme. I wish I had had this when I was still teaching. I had such a hard time convincing my students that Theme could never be expressed in one word but needed to be a statement. Check it out. 

Steven Pressfield continues his discussion of theme in a post called The Hero Embodies the Theme HERE. He gives some great examples. 

John Yeoman from Writer’s Village has a post HERE on how to bring your characters alive. Sure, he tries to sell you something, but the info is good.  

Well, I’m back at last. We lost my sweet husband Dave three weeks ago. It was as good a passing as we could have asked for as he was surrounded by family and didn’t seem to be in any pain. I am so grateful for the friends and family who were here for us, helping in so many ways. And thank you for your patience as I took some much needed time. But now it’s time to get back to work. 

I was offered a chance to receive a copy of Cici Reno for review quite awhile ago. I meant to get to it sooner, but I got to it as soon as I could. I know a lot of folks have already reviewed it, but I will still put in my two cents. I almost passed this one up because I had my doubts that the idea of Cyrano de Bergerac retold with a middle-school girl as the protagonist would work. I’m happy to say that it works really, really well. 

The modern-day Cyrano — Cici Reno — is a good and faithful friend to her BFF, Aggie, even though they both have a crush on the same boy. After all, Aggie had a crush on Drew first. It’s only right for Cici, advice giver extraordinaire, to help Aggie get together with Drew. Cici carries on a live chat with Drew, first anonymously, then as Aggie, until the romance is pretty well set. But then the wheels start to come off.

What I love about this book is how real the characters are — fully conversant in a modern, technical world, in the throes of moving into a pubescent world, and filled with hope and angst. Cici has a normal family and lots of interesting

Kristina Springer

friends. She’s bright and funny and completely endearing. The writing is crisp and the voice is dead on for a girl of that age. If you haven’t read this clever book yet, I suggest you make time for it. It’s just plain fun, and I suspect middle-grade girls will gobble it up. I think Kristina Springer has written a real winner.


I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don’t forget to check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.

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