Summary: Bubble Trouble
Since her mom died during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been just Chloe and her dad. She worries about their finances, so when she has the chance to go on a school trip to Broadway, she’s hesitant to tell him. On a good note, there’s a boy she maybe likes? He works at a boba tea place in her neighborhood, and things are going well until an altercation at the shop ends with Chloe being banned from the boba tea place. What unfolds is a string of chaotic, surprising, and satisfying events, including a boba-making business, two lost lovers reuniting, and a new furry family member.
I had so much fun reading this book. Chloe is an anxious protagonist who feels the need to be an adult even though her scatter-brained, every-experimenting inventor dad is doing his best. Like most anxious kids, she tries to control and avoid disappointment or stressing her dad by not mentioning a school trip she’s actually passionate about participating in. I could relate to her anxiety, and I liked that the story still maintains levity despite this narrative arc.
Chloe also has good friends, and there’s a lot of relatable school drama. I liked the way her friendship with Henry develops, even though the story starts out with them being enemies. This is a younger romance for 7th and 8th graders looking for an enemies-to-lovers plot. Besides the romance subplot, Chloe also gets into making and selling boba, and there’s a fair amount of entrepreneurial information, such as buying raw materials and the process of making boba.
Finally, I particularly enjoyed two subplots: Chloe getting a dog that upturns her world of order in the best way and the reunion between two long-lost lovers, which felt entirely surprising, but also Hallmark-movie cliché in the best possible way. I dare anyone to finish this story without at least a small smile playing on their lips.
- Death: References the death of a parent
- Alcohol/substance abuse: None
- Sexual content: None, two tweens hold hands briefly
- Violence: None
- Ethnic: Chloe and Henry’s families are Chinese-American, Sabrina is cued Latina
- Sexual orientation: None
Recommended for ages: 10+
Good for kids who like:
|Publisher details||Scholastic Press|
|Author:||Wendy Wan-Long Shang|
|Publication date:||July 18, 2023|
|Cover artists | Designer:|
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