Parents' Guide to

When You Get the Chance

By Mary Krawczyk, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Fun, heartwarming coming-of-age tale has "Mamma Mia!" twist.

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Kids say (2 ):

This exciting novel entertains with endearing characters and a fun plot. At the heart of When You Get the Chance, Millie Price shines with her outgoing personality and her big dreams. She stumbles a bit along the way and struggles with family, friends, and identity in ways that many teens may relate to. The Mamma Mia! plot twist, with Millie's quest to find her mom, creates a nice amount of suspense. A few predictable but sweet romances that develop among the characters add to the charm of the story.

Unfortunately, there isn't much ethnic or racial diversity among the characters, especially given that it takes place in New York City. Millie's rival turned romantic interest Oliver Yang is Chinese American. There's a brief reference to his mom facing discrimination when she auditions for roles and is only called back for "tokenized Asian things." However, there's good representation of nontraditional gender roles with Cooper being Millie's primary caretaker as a single dad and several childless women flourishing in their careers. Overall, this is a fun and fast-paced read, with an abundance of current media references, that will appeal teens. Musical theater fans will especially enjoy it due to numerous mentions of popular shows, songs, and performers.

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