This is a book for teens that will make your heart grow larger. The main character, Wendy is a regular girl who struggles with many tough issues. Her parents divorced, and she does not like the woman her dad marries. School is tough, with a particular bully she names John-Monster always lurking around, teasing her mercilessly. Wendy’s only relief is her friend, Jennifer, and a cute puppy they watch together. Jennifer’s life seems perfect, with riches and parents who care about her.
Wendy is an artist, a talent that goes unappreciated by most people in her life. Then, a mysterious person starts leaving her notes. Are these notes from a bully, or a friend? Wendy has no idea, and neither does Jennifer. When Oklahoma comes along, the school play is an opportunity for Wendy to display her artistic talent on the sets. She has a typical teenage crush on a nice boy but keeps messing up around him.
Wendy and her friends face tragedy in their school year. Will it tear them apart? Will it bring new reserves of strength, and help from unexpected quarters? This book would be good for teens who struggle in public school, or with some of the hard things that Wendy goes through. Without spoiling the ending, I will say that 8 Notes to a Nobody deserves this trigger warning to parents: it contains characters who struggle with anorexia and suicide. Tough material, but necessary for kids to read. This book will open their hearts and their minds to the struggles of others, as well as provide insight into their own lives. Wendy battles herself, her jealousy of her best friend, sadness, and depression about many things. In light of the year 2020, it is necessary to spark more conversations about depression and feeling alone, and the very real consequences to young and old alike.