Some girls have all the luck.
Katie and Michaela Wilder are sisters, best friends, and born-and-bred New York City girls. Katie loves the feel of concrete beneath her feet, the roar of the subway, and the glamour of her world-class dance school. And her older sister Michaela feels the same way.
But the Wilder sisters' luck is about to change. The girls are uprooted from the city the summer before Katie's freshman year and planted in rural Fir Lake, a town full of overalls, cows, and mountains. In other words, Katie's worst nightmare. While Katie suffers through shopping withdrawal, Michaela transforms into a small-town social firefly, flirting with the hot quarterback and soaking up nature with her new hick-town friends. As in, people who think camping is fun. Does Katie even know her sister anymore? And after Michaela hides a a jaw-dropping secret from her, does Katie even want to?
Two city-slicker sisters who live and breathe ballet must adapt to the country in Friedman's (South Beach) happy confection. Fourteen-year-old Katie Wilder's spirits plummet when her best friend and older sister, Michaela, informs her of their parents' plans to transplant the family from Manhattan to tiny rural Fir Lake, upstate. But things get even worse for Katie when Michaela, secretly delighted to be spared the rigors of ballet training and the enormous expectations of her, immediately adjusts to their new hometown. She finds a boyfriend and even gets elected homecoming queen, leaving Katie feeling abandoned and bewildered. Readers will want to overlook various gaps in logic, particularly in the ballet plot line, because of Friedman's fresh and funny approach to classic themes the fish out of water, sibling rivalries and jealousy. Katie finds herself hiking up a mountain and alarmingly near a cow, and discovers she can handle both situations with grace. A fashionista, she observes her new classmates' flannel shirts and sensible shoes with curiosity; later, she says, Despite the overalls Autumn is wearing, and despite her belonging to the Camping Club, knowing that she's probably my first friend in Fir Lake makes me grin. Friedman deftly demonstrates the positives of moving forward and not clinging to the past; she also presents a sister dynamic that many girls particularly younger sisters will recognize. Ages 12-up.