First, you should know that this is in no way a disinterested quasi-review—the person who wrote the book under discussion is someone I know, and I got her book as a gift (though not from her), and I want her to like me, which is the worst possible perspective from which to write anything, really.
But! Even so, I feel I have something useful to say. Or maybe what I mean is that Chestnut has something useful to say, so here's how it all went down.
This book appeared in my house. It flew in with the mail.
It landed on the coffee table. It rested there for a while, and then it vanished, no one knew where. Time passed.
Then I read it. And it was sweet. So, so sweet. For me, as a grownup, almost too sweet and cute. Even so, though, I finished it. Indeed, I wanted to finish it; it has that strange fictional engine that some books have, so you just want to know what happens.
And then Chestnut found it. Or rather, I put it in front of Chestnut and she rejected it (the cover?), but then it was in her bag and she was at school and one thing led to another and…she loved it. You know why? Because there are some kids who are sweet and earnest and want to hear about good kids, kids who want to be friends. Kids who aren't so committed to irony, maybe, but instead have that painful glow on their faces of good intentions and fervent beliefs. Kids who are enthusiastic. Kids who want to read about friends and friendship, who can identify with the over-the-top earnest goofiness of the narrator, a girl who will never, ever be the popular kid, who seems to have buck teeth of the soul. You know that kind of kid? That kind of kid will be so, so happy to read this book.
Even if they have to sort of keep it under wraps, because this kind of kid—actually, these kinds of feelings—are exactly the kind that middle school seems designed to stamp out in the sensitive. But your sweet sensitive kid can read it at home, and they can remember they are not the only ones, and they will be happy.