8 Notes to a Nobody

The Bird Face Series Book One

Children - Preteen
204 Pages
Reviewed on 12/26/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

Cynthia T. Toney's 8 Notes to a Nobody (The Bird Face Series) tells the story of Wendy, one of the many teenagers in the world who gets bullied for one or the other reason. In her case, the reason is a bigger than average nose and a face that is not quite as pretty as that of the "in"-girls and her best friend Jennifer. Every now and then, Wendy finds a sticky note with a message to her from a "friend". Life keeps her so busy that she can't really put much effort into finding out who the secret friend is. She has a big art project, and the people around her seem to have more to them than Wendy initially thought.

Many people, no matter what their age, will be able to relate to the characters in 8 Notes to a Nobody by Cynthia T. Toney. Will you recognize yourself as the bullied girl, the girl's best friend, the secret friend, the potential boyfriend, the anorexic girl, or as one of the bullies? I enjoyed reading this story because it shows that there is usually more to a person's behaviour than initially meets the eye. Why is a bully a bully? And why do some people need to be as perfect as possible? This book asks many questions and will make the reader think about bullying, body problems, how important looks really are, and that you should not be too quick to judge people simply by what they say to you. Apart from the plot and the messages within it, I also enjoyed the writing style - everything flowed well and I finished the book in two sittings!

Karen Deblieck

A Goodreads member's review that sounds straight from the heart:

"Bird Face is a remarkable book that touches on a very common issue that dwells in the hearts of most teens--feeling that you are alone and the odd one out. Each of the characters struggles to find themselves in the harsh realites of junior high. Toney does a remarkable job of writing a seamless narrative that captures the angst of these years. Her characters, and their trials, are real and relatable.

It struck a chord with me as my teenage years were "troubled" at best. Her words carried me back to a time where I was alone.
I was a mess. And no one cared.

That is why this book is so important!
There are so many teens out there hurting,
and no one takes the time to notice them.

They feel like they are alone and no one else would understand.
This book exposes these "negative thoughts" as what they truly are--lies!

I would recommend this book for both teens and parents of teens.
It would be an excellent starting point for discussion." Karen Deblieck

Beth Steury

Cynthia Toney’s “8 Notes to a Nobody” captures all the angst of junior high in this real-world tale of almost fourteen-year-old Wendy Robichaud whose life is anything but carefree, perfect or easy. She struggles with self-image, friendships, family issues, dashed dreams—the stuff real-life junior highers deal with on a daily basis–as well as tougher issues like eating disorders and suicide. And when Wendy discovers that hers is not the only less than perfect life, readers are reminded that even those who appear to have everything going for them usually don’t. Honest, realistic, with glimpses of humor and more importantly, rays of hope. Tweens and young teens will see themselves and their friends in the cast of characters surrounding Wendy. Also a great refresher for parents whose junior high years are long buried.
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Poppy Arnold

I really enjoyed this book! I am almost a teenager myself and reading this has well, made me feel better about my life.

Leslea Wahl

This novel is about the difficulties of the middle school years. It’s a beautiful story that deals honestly with many difficult subjects such a low self-esteem, depression and other serious issues. Toney does an incredible job of tackling these hard topics in a hopeful and empowering way. I love how the main character finds the strength to take charge and change things for herself by following her 5 step plan to making friends. This is such a great proactive idea that all teens could try. My favorite part of the story was seeing how things changed for the main character over the summer as she prepared for high school. It was so wonderful to see that even though heartache and tragedies occurred things could change and get better, leaving this deep book ending on a wonderfully positive note. This is a great book for any middle school student. And you’ll be thrilled to know there is a sequel!

Susan Peek

Suicide, parental separation, school bullying, eating disorders -- not exactly cheerful subjects to read about in a book, are they? Especially in a book written for teens. Yet those are exactly the tough subjects Cynthia T. Toney has addressed in this book. A bold story, to say the least, but one that offers immense hope to teens who are struggling with these issues, or have friends who do. And what is most surprising is that it is actually written with humor! "8 Notes to a Nobody" has for its heroine 13- year old Wendy, whom many a young girl in today's public school system can surely relate to. She's not Miss Popular. She's not a cheerleader. She doesn't have boys vying for her attention. She's just . . . well, a "Nobody." An average girl struggling with family problems, friend problems, self-image problems. Basically the normal growing pains that all girls go through. Then, out of the blue, someone starts leaving her notes. As her world and her friendships start whirling out of her control, the notes take on an importance in her life.
This is a delicate story, written with sensitivity and humor. I would not say it is suitable for every girl, but there is no denying these are issues that a lot of teens today face, and because of that, this book can potentially do much good.
One of the things that impressed me most is knowing that the author is a Catholic. She could have used her incredible God-given writing talents to churn out any old kind of novel, but she chose instead to use her writing to glorify God. This, alone, makes "8 Notes to a Nobody" worthy of five stars. This author wrote for souls that Christ loves, died for, and wants to help. I'm sure her story will bear much fruit.