This book was a little difficult for me to relate to, probably because the main character was in middle school and that was a lifetime ago for me. Just the same, the novel was good in the sense that the targeted readers will connect with the story because it was very realistic - even if it is also a bit cliched.
Annabelle is still a bit of the new girl in school (this is the second novel of a series) and is adjusting to life in middle school. To begin, she has to deal with the "Terrible T" - a girl named Taylor who has a reputation in Annabelle's group of friends for being a "mean girl." Things get complicated when Annabelle is accepted by Taylor. Who does she side with - her current friends who just don't understand, or Taylor who might not be what she appears? On top of that situation, she has to deal with her mother's new engagement to Ted "Dweeble." To make matters worse, Ted's son shows up, and Annabelle realizes she has a huge crush on her soon-to-be stepbrother. All of this accumulates to the point when all of her friends hate her - including her dog who chooses the stepbrother over her. Will Annabelle survive this rejection...
This book is relatively cliched with the mean girl isn't as mean as everyone thinks if you just get to know her, but yet maybe everyone was right about her. In terms of the cat and dog references, I think some of that was lost on me since I haven't read the first book. There was other drama in the novel that I think will be more relevant to middle schoolers than older readers - like the horror of a first bra and shaving your legs. Yes, older readers have probably already endured that, but it's history and no longer traumatic.
After reading this book, I don't really have a desire to read another book in the series. It wasn't bad, but I don't feel I'm the targeted audience. Older teens might also be disappointed in this novel. It is, though, worth picking up if you are a middle school girl.