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Archimancy by J.A. White
The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner
The Boney Hand by Karen Kane
Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase
CatStronauts: Slapdash Science by Drew Brockington
The Coffee Book by Gregory Dicum
Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames
Dead Voices by Katherine Arden
An Elephant is Not a Cat by Alvin Tresselt
Everything I Know About You by Barbara Dee
For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh
It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad
Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly and Lian Cho
Level 13 by Gordon Korman
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
Nevers by Sara Cassidy
The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
Paper Girls, Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan
The Portal by Kathryn Lasky
The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert
Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert
Speed of Life by Carol Weston
Stargazing by Jen Wang
Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart
Vancouver Island: Sketches And Trip Notes by Albert Ranger
The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue by Karina Yan Glaser
Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Wonton Terror by Vivien Chien

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 07)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 14)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 21)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 28)
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Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus: 10/14/19

Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus

Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling is the sequel to Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (2017). Aven and Zion are starting high school without their friend Connor. He's moved to Chandler to be with his father.

Aven goes into high school with a positive attitude and falls for an older boy. He seems to like her and isn't teasing her for being armless. Zion, though, has nothing nice to say about him and continually warns her about him.

At this point in the book, I was willing to believe Joshua was like Caleb's former bully in Everything I Know About You by Barbara Dee (2018). I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, just like Aven is. That is, until he finds the most public way to humiliate her.

What follows is an emotional death spiral for Aven. She misses a week of school and is eventually forced to go back by her parents. She refuses to open up about what happened and can't recognize that she has genuine friends, and a genuine potential boyfriend in Zion's brother.

It's only through her friendship with Henry, the elderly employee at the amusement park, that she begins to recognize her own emotional spiral into depression. Henry is living with dementia — but even when he can't remember who she is, he's still able to give good advice.

There's a side plot where Aven and Henry connect over being orphans. Now, Aven knows her grandmother, Josephine, but doesn't know anything about her grandfather or her biological father. Henry knows even less, having only vague memories of an orphanage in Chicago. Aven takes her desire to find her father to help Henry find his family instead.

Thankfully Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus has a happy and satisfying ending. Aven goes through so much but manages to come out stronger and more confident for all of it. She also manages to deal with a bully that has been plaguing kids for years.

I don't know if there will be a third book about Aven. If there is, I will read it.

Five stars

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