Book Title: Life in the Balance
Author: Jen Petro-Roy
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 16, 2021
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Veronica struggles to balance softball, friends, and family turmoil in this new honest and heartfelt middle grade novel by Jen Petro-Roy, Life in the Balance.
Veronica Conway has been looking forward to trying out for the All-Star softball team for years. She’s practically been playing the game since she was a baby. She should have this tryout on lock.
Except right before tryouts, Veronica’s mom announces that she’s entering rehab for alcoholism, and her dad tells her that they may not be able to afford the fees needed to be on the team.
Veronica decides to enter the town talent show in an effort to make her own money, but along the way discovers a new hobby that leads her to doubt her feelings for the game she thought she loved so much.
Is her mom the only one learning balance, or can Veronica find a way to discover what she really wants to do with her life?
Jen Petro-Roy writes “honest books with heart,” about kids who are strong, determined, unsure, struggling to fit in, bubbly, shy, and everything in between. She is the author of P.S. I MISS YOU, GOOD ENOUGH, YOU ARE ENOUGH, and LIFE IN THE BALANCE (out February 2021), all from Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends.
When she isn’t writing, Jen can be found reading, playing board games, belting out songs in the car to embarrass her two daughters, and working as an eating disorder awareness advocate.
Life in the Balance is a powerful and heartfelt middle grade story about learning to balance all areas of life while staying true to yourself. It’s a great story filled with emotional moments and figuring out how to navigate life when everything seems to be in your way.
Right off the bat, the reader learns so much about Veronica’s life. She loves soft-ball (it’s basically her whole life). She has a great relationship with her mom and her dad, but she doesn’t feel she can share her passions and struggles with her dad. She’s preparing for tryouts for the All-Star softball team, something she’s wanted for years. But then her mom tells Veronica she will be entering rehab, which throws Veronica through a loop. And on top of that, her dad informs her they may not be able to cover the fees for the softball team. All this throws Veronica’s life off balance, complicating every area of her life that she deems important.
What I loved about Veronica is that she’s determined. She’s determined to make sure she gets on the All-Star softball team, even if that means entering the talent show. But she wasn’t anticipating discovering a passion for a new hobby. She questions whether she really loves softball or just the idea of it, and if it’s possible to love two hobbies equally. She tries to balance everything in her life on her own, which proves to be more than she can entirely handle. But Veronica is a fighter and even though her life is changing and in turmoil, she refuses to give up, even when she starts to question many aspects of her life.
The emotions Veronica feels leap right off the page. Petro-Roy does a fantastic job grasping the emotions someone Veronica’s age may experience. I feel a lot of kids Veronica’s age will be able to connect with some of her struggles and fears. Veronica is definitely an easy character to connect with. Petro-Roy brings Veronica’s story to life with exceptional and emotional writing. Her writing grabbed me from the very first line and kept my eyes glued to the page. I was honestly captivated with this story and Petro-Roy’s ability to capture all the emotions Veronica felt.
Overall, Life in the Balance is a beautiful and compelling story of learning how to balance your life when it seems like everything is falling apart. For someone Veronica’s age, this is a very important story to read. This is a great read that I recommend to any tween reader looking for a new, heartfelt book.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Check out the amazing bloggers on this book tour!
Up for grabs, we have ONE (1) finished copy of Life in the Balance by Jen Petro-Roy! This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run from February 15th to February 22nd at 11:59 PM CST. To enter, click the link below!