Warning: This review contains spoilers for the book “Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom” by Booki Vivat. If you have not read the book and wish to avoid spoilers, don’t read this review. However, if you already have read the book or you don’t mind spoilers, feel free to read it!
I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom” by Booki Vivat. I admit this book is aimed more at a younger age group than I usually read at, but I just found this book to be so interesting that I believed it deserved a review! Here’s a summary so we have an idea of what it’s about:
“Meet Abbie Wu! She’s about to start middle school and she’s totally in crisis.
Abbie Wu is in crisis—and not just because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because the lunch ladies at school are totally corrupt or because everyone seems to have a “Thing” except her. Abbie Wu is in crisis always.
Heavily illustrated and embarrassingly honest, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up. With Abbie’s flair for the dramatic and natural tendency to freak out, middle school has never seemed so nerve-racking!
Packed with hilarious black-and-white illustrations and doodles throughout, Frazzled takes readers through Abbie Wu’s hysterical middle school adventures.”
What I really liked about this book is that Abbie was an incredibly relatable protagonist. Abbie has her worries about not having a “THING” that she’s good at in middle school, unlike the rest of her friends. It made me think of myself in middle school, and those feelings of not having the greatest school lunch or how boring study hall was are definitely things that I can think back to say “Yes, I totally understand what you’re talking about.” Because of how relatable Abbie was to me, it really helped to draw me into the story and enjoy reading it.
Another highlight of the book was all of the drawings. None of them are ever horrifically static, but instead have a lot of motion and expression which helped to bring life into the story as well. When describing how horrible the middles were (such as the Middle Ages, the middle seat, etc.) I really enjoyed the illustrations that went with those parts.
I also really loved the heart-to-heart talk that Abbie got to have with her brother, after her lunch revolution failed later in the book. I thought it was a good moment for Abbie to have, and help her realize that yes, her family might not always understand her (it doesn’t help that her mother is seemingly hellbent on giving her grape rolls and fish when she doesn’t want them for lunch), but they’re here for her and she can talk to them. It’s easy to get caught up in the anxiety around such a drastic change, especially when starting something like middle school, and it’s good for Abbie to know that she has people she can talk to. Even if they don’t fully understand her, the fact that they’re trying to look out for your wellbeing is something to be appreciated.
Abbie’s story is one of self-discovery, in my opinion, and a good one at that. You might seem super-duper-talented at something, but you can do something you care about and do a whole variety of things, and that’s a message that I feel needs to be heard more often.
Overall, I’d give this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars! If you’re open to something on the lighthearted side with a lot of lively illustrations to go with it, I would totally recommend reading this book!