Reckless, Glorious, Girl by Ellen Hagan, is an original story written in an original way. It is a novel but written in verse. The narrator and main character, Beatrice Miller, is a twelve-year-old girl living in Bardstown, “voted most beautiful small town in Kentucky.” Beatrice’s Dad and Pawpaw died before Beatrice was born, so it’s always just been Beatrice, Beatrice’s Mom, and Beatrice’s Mawmaw. Mom, Mawmaw and Beatrice live together. They don’t always get along but they are there for each other. Beatrice also has two best friends from when she was younger, Mariella and StaceyAnn.
The story starts the summer before 7th grade. Beatrice is nervous about starting school and fitting in. Many times in the book, Beatrice feels like she’s not enough. Pretty enough, fashionable enough, rich enough. She wishes to be like other girls who are more popular. Along with all that, she is starting to have drama with new and old friends, her Mom, bullies, and crushes. She misses her Pawpaw and her Dad and sometimes is furious at her father for going too soon. Beatrice also hates her mom’s new boyfriend. Beatrice is torn between wanting to stay a kid while being ready to be a teenager. She feels she should say goodbye to her old self but can’t figure who she will become. She tries too hard to impress the popular kids at school and gets into trouble, but eventually finds out a way to be true to herself.
Something unique about Reckless, Glorious, Girl is that there are so many descriptions of yummy food all over the book. Pizza made from scratch, red-velvet cake, lemony pound cake, “cookies made with rolled oats & raisins, dark chocolate & walnuts.” My parents almost never give me sugar, so reading about all these treats made me jealous!
I enjoyed the book, but as a younger reader I could not relate to Beatrice very much, except for her love of books, food, friends, and family. I would recommend this book to middle schoolers and up. My review is from an Advanced Reader Copy, and the book is coming out on February 23, 2021.
Reckless, Glorious, Girl by Ellen Hagan. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021. Buy the book here and support Stone Soup in the process!
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