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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
The Maddie Chronicles features three books in the series by Hannah R. Goodman: My Sister’s Wedding, My Summer Vacation, and Fear of Falling, a compelling collection in which readers encounter high school student Maddie Hickman who is determined to rediscover herself and pursue a life of meaning. But connecting with herself is an enterprise that is far from becoming a reality as she encounters obstacles in the form of an alcoholic sister and an ex-boyfriend who is anything but good. Follow her as she experiences a painful heartbreak, suffers broken relationships, and learns about family secrets. How can a young, fragile girl pull herself together and find meaning in the midst of chaos?
Hannah R. Goodman’s writing is atmospheric, the plots revealing a gift for creativity that brings together relevant themes — family, love and loss, pain and recovery, summer camp and the challenges that young readers face as they strive to figure out who they are — into an interesting, engrossing read. The prose is elegant and I enjoyed the connection the protagonist has with her journal and how she creates a strong awareness of self by constantly confronting her own thoughts. This collection features very compelling and memorable characters: Zak, Justin, Barbara, Maddie, and, of course, the mysterious Bubbie. The narrative is injected with doses of realism and the characters are believable. The Maddie Chronicles is one of those series that get the reader’s attention from the very first exciting page and keep them turning to the next. It is psychologically and emotionally rich, stories that brilliantly explore social issues that young readers encounter as they grow up. A series with great entertainment potential.