About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Meet the Misfits & Odd Girl Out by Melody Carlson: Review & Giveaway Tour with Celebrate Lit


Meet the MisfitsBook: Zoey:  Meet the Misfits
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Middle grade fiction for girls
Release Date: April 15, 2019

Zoey’s pretty sure her life is over when her wannaba-rockstar mother uproots her from from their home in Seattle and deposits her in Nowheresville, Oregon to live with her whackadoodle grandparents. Things start to look up, though, when she reconnects with Louisa, the girl from across the street. Maybe, just maybe, Louisa won’t mind that Zoey’s always been a bit of a misfit. Louisa’s ex-BFF, however, doesn’t seem too happy to welcome Zoey to the neighborhood. And when they all end up at church camp together, it’s not just a matter of whether or not Zoey can fit in…it becomes a firsthand lesson in what it really means to “love your enemy.”


As I read this first book in a new series by Melody Carlson, I found so much to love about Meet the Misfits. Yes, it is intended for girls who are ten or older, but I found it very enjoyable and I am a grandmother many years past being ten. Zoey is an eleven year old girl from Seattle, Washington who is left to spend some time at her grandparents house in Cedarville, Oregon. She is at first very upset with her mother for uprooting her but she begins to realize that her grandparents and her Uncle Ned aren't so bad after all. Living across the street from a girl her own age is certainly a big part of her gradual acceptance and she and Louisa experience becoming best friends in the next few weeks. Zoey and Louisa enjoy the same things and they aren't quite ready to enter the world of boys, makeup, and constantly worrying about their clothes and their looks.

Zoey soon experiences being the target of many insults and pranks from Louisa's friend Kayla and I was reminded of some similar occurences when I was growing up. Bullying certainly isn't new and Zoey and Louisa are confronted with the evidence that some people are naturally jealous and just not very nice. Carlson uses this as a way to introduce Zoey to the concept that since Jesus loves everyone, we are expected to do the same. I especially liked that Zoey came to know God and Jesus at a church youth camp.

Meet the Misfits is a great introduction to the Being Zoey series and it is a book that I plan to share with my granddaughter when she is a little older. It offers entertainment as it teaches morals and Christian values and Zoey Petrizzo is the perfect example of a young girl facing the problems associated with growing up.

I received a complimentary digital copy from Celebrate Lit Tours but I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Click here to grab your copy.


Odd Girl Out (Being Zoey)
Book: Zoey:  Odd Girl Out
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Middle grade fiction for girls
Release Date: August 15, 2019

When the school year begins, Zoey’s terrified to go without Louisa—who’s out with a nasty flu. The same enemies she made over the summer are there to haunt her, but she and another new girl stick together…and even seem to find a place among the in-crowd. But is this who Zoey wants to be? Are they really her friends? Who’s going to stick beside her when cyber bullying leaves her as the odd girl out?


'I'm so confused that I'm actually questioning my own commitment of faith at Camp Silverwood. Was I simply tricked? Was everything there just a big fat lie? Deep down inside of me, I don't think so. Deep down, I believe what I heard was true...the commitment I made was real.'

These are the thoughts of Zoey Petrizzo as she struggles with being the new girl in sixth grade and trying to make new friends and fit in. Her friendship with Louisa has suffered a blow and another new girl in Cedarville seems to want to be her friend but Taylor longs to become one of the popular kids, an A-lister, and Zoey isn't so sure that is her goal. As she tries to make amends with Louisa, figure out her relationship with Taylor, and remain true to her new Christian faith, we see Zoey torn about her life in general! She is still plagued by bullying. but this time it is bullying through social media and this promises to be even more devastating. Suddenly, Zoey is an outcast and rejected by everyone in school and she has no clue until Taylor confronts her about all of the derogatory remarks that Zoey has been sending through an app on her phone. Poor Zoey, she barely even knows how to text!

Odd Girl Out is the second book of the Being Zoey series and author Melody Carlson once again offers an enjoyable story laced with faith and Christian values. She also delivers pertinent information about the legal and emotional consequences associated with cyberbullying. I am so glad that these books will be available for my young granddaughter when she gets a little older!

I received a complimentary digital copy from Celebrate Lit Tours but I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Click here to grab your copy.


Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.  

More from Melody

Being a tween these days is more complicated than ever. With our culture’s fast pace, social networking, peer pressure . . . growing up is hard to do. So I wanted to create a relatable character with some tough challenges. And Zoey Petrizzo definitely gets more than her fair share. About to start middle-school, Zoey is forced to relocate her life with her less than conventional grandparents. And it’s not easy! My hope is that readers will either relate to Zoey, or develop more empathy for ‘misfit’ kids like her.

Blog Stops

Andrea Christenson, August 30
Remembrancy, September 1
Older & Smarter?, September 2
Artistic Nobody, September 2
Back Porch Reads , September 3
Just the Write Escape, September 5
amandainpa , September 5
A Reader’s Brain, September 6
Patiently Waiting, September 6
Godly Book Reviews, September 7
Texas Book-aholic, September 8
Vicky Sluiter, September 9
Hallie Reads, September 10
janicesbookreviews, September 11
Inklings and notions , September 11


To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize package of Meet the Misfits and Odd Girl Out, Sketching Pencils, and a Sketchbook!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e809/meet-the-misfits-odd-girl-out-celebration-tour-giveaway

View all my reviews


  1. How old is your granddaughter? Would this be appropriate for my 9-year-old granddaughter?

    1. Yes, Nancy, your 9 year old should enjoy it. There is nothing that is objectionable. Zoey and her friend are 11 and going into 6th grade but it is targeted for age 10 years and up. It has some good Christian values without being over-preachy!