"Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks" Review

"Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks"
by K.D. McCrite

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: Dec 6, 2011 
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  

Just when April Grace thought the drama was over . . .
After an automobile accident, Isabel St. James-resident drama coach and drama queen-needs help putting together the church play. Mama insists April Grace and Myra Sue will help. April's fall is now devoted to spending every afternoon with Isabel and Myra Sue-if anyone is as big of a drama queen as Isabel, it's Myra Sue. Plus, she's dumb. (Okay, not dumb, but "older sister dumb.") If that's not enough, Isabel is wreaking havoc in the community trying to get Rough Creek Road paved, the new boy at school will not leave her alone, and then Mama drops the biggest bombshell of all . . . April Grace is no longer going to be the baby of the family . . .
Girls will completely relate to April and love her sense of humor as she deals with siblings, boys, and the many changes that come with growing up.

My Review:

This book was an adorable middle grade story, with some deep topics. April Grace's mother had some really tough times with her pregnancy. While it was really good storytelling, it put April Grace through a lot of stress and heartache, and since she's so young it was hard to read about sometimes. She was so strong and never wanted to add to her parents' stress over the baby, so she internalized a lot of own pain. Of course, the story isn't all heartache, there are lots of more typical everyday issues explored in the book. It's a nice balance of tough issues and everyday middle school problems, instead of all fluff.

I love how strong April Grace is, she is a great role model, especially at that tough age when boys and clothes and makeup start to take over common sense. She stands up for herself and doesn't let the cliques at school run her life. Her family has some very accurate observations on why cliques are the way they are.

There's one thing in book that I absolutely love when it's done right, and I really can't stand when it's done wrong, and that is the southern accent. When done wrong, it comes across as fake, and it can ruin a book for me. In this book, April Grace's southern drawl is written to perfection and I loved it. It really added to the story for me, and I don't think April Grace would have been as endearing to me without it.

April Grace goes to Church and Sunday School, but I wouldn't say this book is overly religious. There's just the basic message of treating others the way you would want to be treated.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: N/A

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 5/5 (love it)
Writing: 5/5

Bottom Line: I thoroughly enjoyed April Grace's story and I would love to read the other books in the series. Her authentic southern charm really won me over.


  1. I think this is one of the best titles this year :) Lol

  2. Wow. April sounds like an incredible character. And who can resist real southern charm?

  3. I love Thomas Nelson! I think they're my favorite Christian publisher. This sounds like a super cute read! :)

  4. Oh, okay, I'm going to add this to my "To Buy After The Holidays" list.

    It sounds quite adorable and like it has a good mix of serious and mundane topics. Plus, a good southern accent is always awesome :D

    Thanks for sharing this review!

  5. This sounds so cute and what a great title! I like that it has a serious side and a light side. I'm always looking for good middle grade fiction and as long as it doesn't get too heavy with religion a little life lessons never hurts. Great review!


  6. I love the name of the this book. Add in the fact that you loved and wrote up a wonderful review. It has me thinking I shall look for this one. *grin*

    Oh do stop by. My blog has been quiet lonely... lacking on the comment side due to being missing from the blog-o-sphere fro some time. However, I'm trying to jump back into this wonderful world. I do miss it so!

    Mad Scientist @ Steampunkery & Book Reviews

  7. I read the first book and fell in love with April Grace from the very first page! I just got my copy of this one in the mail and I plan on devouring it over the holidays :D


  8. Oh this sounds cute. I read middle grade books sometimes and when I'm in the mood I'll give it a try.

  9. I just finished reading this book too, and I feel basically the same way you do about it. I loved the first April Grace book, and this one was just as enjoyable to read! I've truly come to love the characters - even Isabel, LOL! Can't wait for book 3! :)


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!