It all started three days after I officially became a woman -- the message of mass destruction arrived. It was February 14, to be exact. Happy Valentine's Day.
Sara Thurman has never considered herself part of the popular crowd - she's got her best friend Arlene and that seems like enough. But when Sara's mom sends a special Valentine's Day delivery (PERIOD FLOWERS!) to her class, all of a sudden Sara is very famous - only for a horribly embarrassing reason! It seems everyone at Bowie Junior High knows something about Sara that she'd rather keep to herself and the harder Sara tries to blend in the more she ends up sticking out.
Not only that, but it suddenly seems that Arlene doesn't have time for her anymore, and she has an unbearable crush on Jason who doesn't have any idea who she is (until now, that is). Worst of all, nothing's felt the same since Sara's dad left home. It all has Sara wondering if things will ever return to normal -- especially if she can't even remember what normal feels like. Sara can't figure out why it seems that everyone else has it easier than she does - would things be better if she were popular? Sara decides that if she can't beat 'em then she'll join 'em -- and she hatches a top secret mission to become....Class Favorite.
Sara Thurman suffers a string of humiliations that begins when her mother sends her roses at school not to celebrate Valentine's Day, but because the eighth-grader has finally gotten her period. Then someone gets wind of Sara's entrance to womanhood and decorates her locker with tampons and napkins, and soon it seems that the whole school pegs her as a magnet for disaster. Sara wrongly accuses her best friend of blabbing her secrets and quickly accepts consolation from the all-too-obvious culprit, also embarking on an improbable scheme to be voted Class Favorite for the yearbook. Morris (Original Divas) hammers lessons about loyalty and forgiveness a little too noisily, and some of Sara's catastrophes feel more manufactured than comic. Nonetheless, the author creates a funny twist to the tried-and-true theme of adolescent angst in the unexpectedly composed way Sara handles each cringe-inducing crisis, and girls will like this character. As lagniappe, Morris opens each chapter with a thematically related, magazine-style quiz question ( Are You the Keeper of Secrets or the Disher of Gossip? ); answers can be scored at the end to discover Which Yearbook Award Will You Receive? Ages 9-13.