By Julie Matheson
Full of humor and wonder, BELIEVE explores the power and limits of the imagination – and how love both breaks and heals our hearts.
Eleven-year-old Melanie knows she is special and had never been bored. She understands the secret language of old houses and makes jewels out of broken glass. Her imagination can do anything — except make friends. It is 1980, and life as a fifth grader at Buckminster Experimental School is lonely at best, when she is not dodging Karen, the school bully. Then, Melanie meets Sabrina, who looks like a TV star and acts like a spy, and who does not care what anyone thinks. She teaches Melanie how to believe in herself, and soon Melanie starts living her dreams. She even lands the lead in Peter Pan!
If only she could share it all with Mom. Missing her mom is like trying to breathe with one lung. It is bad. Sabrina thinks they can track her down, and Melanie wants to believe, but sometimes it is easier to pretend. Her new life feels like a house of cards, until one day it all comes crashing down and she finds herself with no choice but to face the truth… and let go.
An incredible teen story so wonderfully written, with a unique plot line following the everyday struggles of young girl. This book tackles mental health in a way that young children can access. The ending was a refreshing surprise, satisfying but not stereotypical.
This quirky, heartfelt middle-grade novel about grief and the resilience of the human spirit will keep you guessing until the very last chapter.
I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to obtain a an advance copy of this book to give an honest review.