Darla Decker Hates to Wait by Jessica McHugh is a YA book with a middle grade main character and a bit more burgeoning sexuality than this mom to girls is quite comfortable with. That being said, I really enjoyed the story. The first in a series about growing up and dealing with life as only an 11 year old girl can, Darla Decker Hates to Wait introduces you to the one and only Darla, and her cast of family and friends. You meet her mom and dad who seem to be on the verge of divorce. Her older brother who is just mean. Her best friend who is doing the one thing you never want a best friend to do. And peripheral friends, those folks that make up the neighborhood and your memory of riding bikes and after school visits and the like.
This story really did bring me right back to being 11 years old, which I think, is a kind of magic. The only glaring difference between my tween years and Darla Decker’s can be summed up with two words; kiss ball. Definitely was not a thing in my neighborhood. The author Jessica McHugh did a great job of really bringing you back to the life of a young kid and all the things that make up their life at any given moment. Navigating family and school and first crushes, all while trying your best to figure out who you are.
I was going to have my daughter read this with me, but there is a good bit of somewhat mature content that is not great for a 9 year old, which is the only reason I’m cool with calling this a YA even though the main character is mid grade age range. I think it’s still worth a read though and am looking forward to finishing the series. You can find Darla Decker Hates to Wait on Amazon and wherever books are sold, as well as on the author, Jessica McHugh, website.