Author: Victoria Schwab
Synopsis: Meet a guardian angel like no other, from a writer like no other. Bold, rising star Victoria Schwab returns with the second book in this whimsical, inspiring, and clever middle-grade series.
There’s more to Aria than meets the eye. She’s a guardian angel. And to earn her wings, she’ll have to help three different girls. . . .
This time, Aria comes to Caroline Mason. At her all-girls’ prep school, Caroline is being bullied. She eats lunch alone and is picked on by her classmates every day. The ringleader of the mean girls is Lily Pierce. But Lily isn’t an ordinary bully: she used to be Caroline’s best friend.
When Aria arrives, she can see Caroline is suffering. But, to Aria’s surprise, so is Lily. What is the story behind Lily’s cruel actions? And can Aria help guide Caroline out of the darkness . . . and into better, brighter future?
Huge thank you to Scholastic and Netgalley for this ARC!
I was completely smitten with the first book of this series. Aria was completely loveable and believable as this guardian angel sent to help people with their life affecting problems, and this next instalment focuses on a popular topic that has been circulating middle grade and YA fiction for awhile: bullying. It’s a tough topic to handle, but I feel like Schwab writes it with complete ease.
I think many of us can relate to Caroline’s situation: she’s a girl who has been exiled from the popular kids for doing “the right thing.” She gets treated completely like garbage, tossed around, and she is dealing with the emotional stress of the harm that being bullied places on someone. Interestingly though, this is not just her story, as it’s equally about the former bestfriend, Lily, who is the bully in question. Aria is sent to help both girls, but interestingly, Lily’s story is well integrated into Caroline’s without her being the focus, and unlike Caroline or Aria, she is not given a point of view. Normally, I think have that extra point of view would help, but here I like that a lot of how Lily is handled is mostly from a distance because it definitely shows the difficultly that Aria has in attempting to help her.
I loved this story, and I think it’s one a lot of people can understand and relate to because this is such a scary and hot topic right now. I don’t want to spoil a few of the twists Schwab incorporates into this story, but I thought they were well done and again give the reader a touch more insight than they likely would have received otherwise. This series is fantastic, and I cannot wait for the next book when it arrives in the Winter. I could stand to have more Aria in my life!