Mia is used to feeling overlooked: her perfect older sister gets all the attention at home, and the popular clique at school are basically experts at ignoring her. So when it’s time for the annual Student Council chocolate rose sale, Mia is prepared to feel even worse. Because even though anyone can buy and send roses to their crushes and friends, the same (popular) people always end up with roses while everyone else gets left out.
Except a twist of fate puts Mia in charge of selling the roses this year — and that means things are going to change. With a little creativity, Mia makes sure the kids who usually leave empty-handed suddenly find themselves the object of someone’s affection. But her scheme starts to unravel when she realizes that being a secret matchmaker isn’t easy–and neither is being in the spotlight.
Title: 25 Roses
Author: Stephanie Faris
Source: ARC from Edelweiss
Publication date: January 6, 2015
I received 25 Roses from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Finally a middle grade book that doesn’t revolve around the “my friends want to be popular so they’re ditching me” problem! There’s a place for those books, but there are so many of them that it’s nice to have a different storyline for the same age group in 25 Roses.
Mia’s sick of the popular kids getting the all the loot in the annual Valentine’s Day chocolate rose sale, so as one of the people in charge of selling them, she decides to anonymously send out 25 chocolate roses (at $1 each) to people who won’t get one from anyone else. She even sends one to both of her best friends, Ashleigh and Alex. This kind gesture sets off a whole lot of drama that Mia never could have expected.
The less popular kids are stunned to receive roses and immediately — the next day — Mia notices that they have more confidence and are more interested in what’s happening around them. She’s proud that she made that happen, but she can’t share her feelings with Ashleigh and Alex because they don’t know Mia is behind the whole thing. People also want to know from Mia who their secret admirers are, but Mia refuses to tell. This somehow leads Mia into helping Sun Patterson with a makeover and playing matchmaker to help people talk to their crushes.
Soon it’s all a little too much. Poor Mia is caught between genuinely wanting to help Sun and Kurt and the others and feeling overwhelmed. All she wanted to do was make people feel good! She didn’t want to have to hold everyone’s hands. She doesn’t even have a rose of her own, or a crush. Right?
I like Mia a lot. She has a good heart and good intentions, but she’s flawed too. She feels like the inadequate little sister to perfect Kellie, she’s not always honest with her friends, and she can’t say no when people (who aren’t even her friends) want her help. She doesn’t even realize that she actually does like a boy and when she finally does, she’s already committed to helping someone else who likes him.
The oh-so-important Valentine’s Day, drama with friends and boys, run-ins with a mean girl, and a school-sponsored lock-in all make 25 Roses a worthy middle grade book. It’s a fun, easy read that kept me interested for the whole book.