From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Michigan teen Izzy has a lot going on: the deadline for her art portfolio is looming, her best friend has stopped talking to her, her breasts are drawing unwanted attention, her crush might (or might not) be interested in her, she can't stop her hypochondriac ways-and, oh yeah, her mom's cancer might not be in remission after all. It's no wonder she's not sure if she can keep it together. Raf's debut is a mix of true-to-life and the unbelievable. With so much happening for Izzy, the story feels crowded, which lessens the impact of her real crises and makes the resolution feel a little underdeveloped, especially the lack of consequences for a pack of sexting students. Every adult in the book condemns even a hint of teenage sexuality-even something as mild as wearing scoop-neck tops. Raf's dialogue is unusually halting and full of ellipses, which mirrors real-life conversations but makes exchanges between the characters drag. While the plot is predictable (Izzy and her mother eventually come to understand each other better, the popular boy who shows a sudden interest is really operating under a dare, another love interest is hiding in plain sight), Izzy's self-deprecating humor and wry observations bring fresh air to tired tropes. Raf's background in comedy serves her well and gives her protagonist an authenticity that will make readers feel invested in her story. A fairly standard contribution to the genre, but a solid one.-Gretchen Kolderup, New York Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Izzy, 15, isn’t your typical anxious teen. She is a straight-up “cyberchondriac”—her sister dubs her Disease Louise—who scours the Internet to find horrid diagnoses to explain her every little ache and pain. It’s somewhat understandable, given her mom’s recovery from (and possible relapse of?) a rare stomach cancer. As if this stress isn’t enough, Izzy has a play to assistant direct, three paintings to finish for a shot at an art scholarship, and oh yeah, you know, boys. Handsome Blake is finally paying attention to her—an attention that leads to a circulated snapshot of her breast that lends her the moniker Boobgirl. Isn’t there a sweet, cute guy who would treat her right? (Romance readers know the answer: he has been right there all along!) Raf’s welcome debut alternates between hilarious neuroticism (hyperaware make-out session play-by-plays) and effective scenes of panic attacks as Izzy tries to deal with her mom’s worsening condition. It’s a generous book, overstocked with characters and dialogue, and it should succeed in putting any reader’s problem into a wider, and funnier, perspective. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus