Twelve-year-old BFFs, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, are matchmaking geniuses. Together, they maneuvered Ginnie’s widower-dad into proposing to Tillie’s divorcee-mom. Sweet! Certain they are well on their way to sisterhood, each girl is floored when Tillie’s lousy-excuse-for-a-father puts in an appearance after a six year absence. Too bad “lousy dad repellant” doesn’t come in a can.
Even though Tillie’s dad has sobered up and is determined to make amends, Tillie would rather he just disappear again. If he stays, “Operation: Secret Sisters” may need to be renamed “Operation: Not Gonna Happen.” I
If that’s not bad enough, the biggest bully in seventh grade comes over often and wishes he could call the West’s farmhouse “home.” When the bully’s abusive dad shows up as well, Ginnie thinks it’s time to change her family’s motto from “When you’re here, you’re family” to “There’s no more room at the West’s.”
My thoughts: The last book about the West family deals with the aftermath from the cliff hanger that was at the end of the third book. The story deals with some difficult subjects, like abuse and alcoholism and the effects of both. I feel like Monique does a good job of handling the difficult subjects though in an age appropriate way.
I would of liked for this story to have a bit more of the loose ends tied up, but I enjoyed the story over all. This is a great series for older middle school readers to pick up!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.
About the Author
When Monique isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.
Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, twelve grand-darlings, too many cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books in three series and hopes to write many more.
More from Monique
Welcome to the fourth book in my published series: BEING WEST IS BEST: A Ginnie West Adventure. This book is the 4th installment of the Ginnie West Adventures, but NOT the last book in the series. Book 5 will be ready to publish in 2021, followed quickly by Book 6.
BEING WEST IS BEST is a redemption story and while it has the same family flavor of the preceding books, it does have an intensity that younger readers may benefit from reading this along with trusted adult teachers or family members as a catalyst for discussing some hard issues—though still in an age appropriate way.
As a former foster mom to over 100 foster kids, one of my goals as I write the GINNIE WEST series is to give a voice to kids who feel voiceless and invisible. There are some intense scenes in this book as Tillie, a formerly abused and abandoned child (by her birth dad—NOT her birth mom—who is a rock in Tillie’s world) She meets with her birth dad for the first time in 6 years.
I allow Tillie to say things to him that he needs to hear so that other kids, who will only have such a meeting vicariously thru Tillie and her dad, Jasper, can heal—and possibly form a bridge from a broken past to a happier future.
However, reuniting every formerly abused child with their abuser is NOT always a good idea.
In Tillie’s case, her birth dad left to fight his demons safely away from her. He returns after making some powerful changes so that both of their lives are better. Even so, Tillie is resistant to allow him back in her daily life. It is to this end that each will need to bend a little—and show the other compassion and kindness to truly heal.
Because Tillie is a child, I make sure this meeting is in a place where she feels safe and with adults who have her best interests at heart, who can protect her if need be. I would never suggest such a meeting without these safeguards in place. I am careful to allow Tillie the opportunity to advocate for herself—something that is not always possible in real life.
Being West is Best is a story that explores some hard realities in a necessary way, leaving my readers and characters uplifted and empowered. It also contains some fun times, interesting shenanigans, loving family relationships, imaginative solutions to some tricky problems, and a horse who is as playful as her owner.
Whether you’ve read the entire series or are joining this tour with this book, I hope you will be willing to join Ginnie and Tillie on this journey. There are plenty of opportunities to laugh, a few to cry, but more importantly, to take a stand and make deliberate decisions in your own life.
Laugh lots, love much, write on!!
Inklings and notions, January 11
Splashes of Joy, January 12 (Author Interview)
Sara Jane Jacobs, January 12
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 13
Locks, Hooks and Books, January 14
Artistic Nobody, January 15 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
deb’s Book Review, January 16
Texas Book-aholic, January 17
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 18
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 20
Beauty in the Binding, January 21 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, January 21
Blogging With Carol, January 22
For Him and My Family, January 23
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 24
To celebrate her tour, Monique is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Apple, or Google Play!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.