Today I spent the afternoon reading Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala.
If you’ve read my earlier post about the novel, you would know that only a few chapters in I was completely in love with the colourful array of character (from sparkly Bree to dawned in black Dot).
This first book in the series, with currently two others to follow, is the start of the trios both charming and chaotic adventure, which definitely deserves a five-star rating and two thumbs up.
It’s been a long while since I’ve read Middle Grade fiction, but I was hooked from the lovely cover art, to the synopsis, to the first page. This book pulled me along like a fish on a string and reeled me in all the way to the end.
One thing in particular that I loved about the book was Malia’s journey self discovery. Although each of the girls were learning new things about themselves, their friendship and most importantly BABYSITTING, Malia’s really stood out to me. Along with her crush on the ever-so-mentioned, Connor Kelly, her older sister Chelsea and her parents even had me frustrated. It was wonderful seeing her grow and realize her own capabilities and strengths throughout the story. Having her wear, a floral dress at the end was really symbolic of her growth. It was as if at that moment she truly bloomed. I love how Caroline wrote her character.
I also really, really, really loved Bree and Dot. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that Bree, really, really, really loves Taylor Swift and really, really, really loves cats. Even Cats the musical…which I might be judging her for, just a bit, but her character was just so sweet, I can’t think of anything other than compliments when I think about her. It became clear throughout the novel, that although Bree seemed clueless or lost at times during conversations with her friends, her unconditional love for them is the glue that holds this trio together, despite their differences. She is so lively and hilarious, although there are times when she seems to get lost, not only among her friends but even in her own home with her family and yet she rarely lets it keep her down. I’d love to see how this is explored in later books.
Now onto Dot, the eloquent and sophisticated young lady…with a huge snacking obsession. I love that Dot rebels against her mother by buying perfume, deodorant and Oreos. It is definitely her most relatable quality. She’s very mature for her age, in comparison to her two friends, but I think throughout the novel she slowly realizes that despite all the juvenile things about them that she initially finds annoying, they are instead, the things that she loves about her friends the most. Dot is an only child, and in the school’s honour program. If her wardrobe had a theme, it would be Paint it Black, and her love for old films and 70s and 80s rock bands contrast with her love of learning. The fact that her rebellion is secretly going against her mother’s ban on sweets, shows that despite her mother getting on her nerves by being so overly perceptive, she also loves her mom and doesn’t want to upset her.
I feel like this series has something for everyone, and I would definitely recommend it for readers 12 and up. I can only imagine the craziness to come, but I have no doubt in my mind that these girls will continue to be just as charming as the Babysitter’s Club I grew up admiring, who they borrowed (stole) their business idea from.