Not if I Can Help It
Willa lives with her dad, while her mom and her mom's new husband live a couple of hours away. Willa loves her best friend Ruby, but when Ruby's mom and Willa's dad start dating, and that starts getting serious, Willa doesn't like it. There are some things she doesn't even want her best friend to know about, like how she can't have itchy socks or eat certain foods because the texture grosses her out. Ruby is excited about their parents moving in so they can be sisters, but Willa doesn't want things to change.
A very authentic part of this book is a know-it-all character (Avery) who makes life harder for Willa, but who also shares some things in common with her. Willa's babysitter and stepparents work cooperatively toward her care, and readers who do not have sensory processing disorder or executive function issues will still connect to many of Willa's concerns, even if her worries present in a more extreme way. Although Willa is pretty self-absorbed, which is not a very likeable trait, her irritation and frustration are familiar, and the pacing moves quickly.
"This is why I don't like surprises. There's no place to put them, no way for them to feel normal in my body. But everybody expects you to deal with them. No, everybody expects you to be excited about them, like how Ruby squealed and smiled when they dumped the news on us.
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