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blue_dog_7314 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 30
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Shug (that's short for Sugar - Annemarie's nickname) is just about to start 7th grade and everything seems to be changing. All of a sudden her oldest friend Mark is looking completely different (in a cute way!) and Annemarie can't figure out how to make him see her differently. Annemarie has always been the one the teachers liked, but junior high brings Ms. Gillybush who can't seem to stand Annemarie. All the other girls are wearing two-piece swimsuits, but Annemarie's still got her old one-piece - which has a hole! Then there’s Shug’s parents – her glamorous mother who maybe drinks a little more than she should and her traveling father who stays away more and more. Shug wants everything to stay the way it has been, but soon she realizes change is going to happen whether she's ready for it or not. Shug provides a very real look at the problems preteen girls face - the peer pressure, the embarrassing parents, and the mystery of boys.
Annemarie Wilcox or "Shug" is, in her eyes, less than perfect. Her family life is almost non-existent with a mother who is an alcoholic, a father who is always away on business and a sister who, lets put it this way, got the better genes. Not to mention the overwhelming feeling that the whole world is growing up around her while she is left standing in the dust. Entering grade seven with her best friend Elaine, she is determined to get her first kiss from her long time friend Mark, to get good grades and to jump head first into Junior High life with all its glory. But things start falling apart when Elaine finds a boyfriend and Mark starts to pull away.
Nearing the conclusion, Shug discovers that while some things will change others will become enhanced as she figures out who her true friends are and discovers that growing up isn't as scary as she thought.
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