Honestly Elliot was a highly anticipated 2022 read for me — so much so that I read it in December 2021. Elliot has ADHD and loves to cook. He lives with his mom and spends time with his dad and step-mom regularly. His step-mom is pregnant and Elliot feels a bit threatened since his dad already seems disappointed in his seemingly scatter-brained behavior and the fact that he’s not an A+ student. He also wants to go to cooking camp and his dad refuses to pay for it, insisting that Elliot can go if he himself pays for it. When Elliot gets the chance to execute a food-related pop-up as part of a school-wide entrepreneurial project, he sees it as a chance for redemption. Unfortunately, he’s paired with popular girl Maribel who can’t eat gluten and wants them to make yummy pies without gluten. Can Elliot and Maribel pull this off without butting heads? The two quickly find that they have a lot more in common than they thought.
Rule of Threes is Marcy Campbell’s debut middle grade novel. Maggie and her two BFFs share a love for design and decorating. They’ve entered a school contest to redecorate a section of the school. Maggie’s life at home is also fairly stable — until one visit changes everything. All of a sudden, there’s a new stepbrother named Tony who is moving in with Maggie and her parents. On top of that, one of her best friends is withdrawing because Maggie refuses to call her by her preferred name, Rakell (not Rachel as she’s previously gone by).