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Pre-order Now! Available April 18, 2023

The Unofficial Lola Bay Fan Club

The inten­si­ty of tween fan­dom col­lides with the shift­ing friend­ship dynam­ics of mid­dle school as Iris comes to terms with all the ways friend­ships can be good and bad.

Pop star Lola Bay is every­thing to Iris and her best friend, Leeza. Her songs speak right to their souls and they can’t wait to start a Lola Bay fan club when mid­dle school starts. But then mean girls take over the fan club and Leeza seems to be inter­est­ed in oth­er things.
 
Enter Dana. She’s bold and cool and not afraid to stand up for her­self. Plus, she’s a mas­sive Lola Bay fan and knows how to get free merch online. She even has big ideas for get­ting them to a con­cert.
 
When some of Dana’s ideas make Iris a lit­tle ner­vous, she push­es the feel­ings down—Dana seems to know what she’s doing. Only as Dana’s plans get big­ger and big­ger, Iris feels worse and worse. And then Dana cross­es a line that caus­es trou­ble for Iris’s whole fam­i­ly.
 
How could some­one who is sup­posed to be a friend do that? And, Iris won­ders, how did I let things go this far?

REVIEWS

“Ardent fan­dom meets friend­ship dra­ma. Sum­mer­time and the liv­ing is easy: It’s peanut butter–and-blueberry jam sand­wich­es and fun days swim­ming at the pool for Iris and BFF Leeza. Two besties liv­ing across the street from each oth­er, they spent their child­hoods side by side, gos­sip­ing about and lis­ten­ing to singer Lola Bay. After start­ing a fan club for their favorite star, the sixth graders con­nect with sev­enth grad­er Dana. This cre­ates a rift between nar­ra­tor Iris and Leeza, as the for­mer idol­izes Dana’s vast body of Lola Bay knowl­edge, and the lat­ter, less enthralled, decides to get involved in oth­er activ­i­ties. Fur­ther trou­ble ensues when Dana, who has a con­trol­ling per­son­al­i­ty, con­vinces Iris to use her mother’s cred­it card with­out per­mis­sion to pur­chase cov­et­ed Lola Bay con­cert tick­ets. Things esca­late to a cri­sis point when Dana betrays Iris in a very pub­lic way, forc­ing Iris to face the truth, rec­og­nize who real­ly has her back, and stand up for her­self. This nov­el focused on friend­ship deals with emo­tion­al abuse and fam­i­ly ties dur­ing the often stress­ful tran­si­tion from ele­men­tary to mid­dle school. The con­ver­sa­tion­al tone is read­er friend­ly, and many young peo­ple will rec­og­nize the issues that are explored, from shift­ing social sta­tus to online bul­ly­ing. Most char­ac­ters default to White. An acces­si­ble rela­tion­ship-cen­tered nov­el explor­ing the per­ils of tween friend­ships.” (Kirkus Reviews)

C.M. Surrisi

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