Dreaded Dinner Party by Destiny Henderson

Dreaded Dinner Party by Destiny Henderson
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (213 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Who’s tired of her dinner party-throwing parents? Curi Andrews is.

But when a nasty couple tries to sabotage her parents’ party, Curi flips.

It’s up to Curi to stop them!

Of course, she’s going to eat some delicious food along the way.
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Who will help her? Maybe the mischievous traveler Mister Wolfeman or the ambitious Ophelia?

Unfortunately for Curi, sometimes, things still go up in flames.

You will love this debut middle-grade novel with diverse characters, light humor, and a home-schooled, strong female protagonist.

Some people don’t make good guests at parties at all.

There were quite a few characters, but I always had a pretty easy time of remembering who was who. Ms. Henderson did a good job of describing who everyone was, showing what their personalities were like, and giving them names that somehow seemed to fit each one of them perfectly. I enjoyed getting to know every single character, from Curi to the people in her life who only showed up occasionally.

It took me a while to figure out which age group would be the most appropriate recommendation for this story. Curi was the sort of child who spent a great deal of her time with adults listening to them talk. As a result, she overheard some things that most 10-year-olds wouldn’t think of. They were nothing that a child that age should be protected from or anything like that, just topics that tend to be more interesting to grown-ups. As much as I liked meeting a protagonist who truly liked listening to what adults have to say, this did make it a little tricky to decide who it was written for since other parts of the storyline seemed to be written for a much younger audience. This is a minor criticism of something I’m quite glad I read, but it would have been nice to have a clearer understanding of whether this was written for kids in late elementary, middle, or high school.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this tale were the close, loving relationships that all four of the Andrews had with each other. The parents were attentive and sensitive to their children’s needs. Curi’s relationship with her brother, Taveo, was also strong. They had rare and brief moments of annoyance that every family goes through, but most of their time together was a pleasant experience for everyone involved. I’ve read so many young adult books about kids who have major conflicts with their parents or siblings that it was incredibly refreshing to meet characters who have a peaceful home life. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of Ms. Henderson’s work based on this wholesome approach to the young adult genre alone!

Dreaded Dinner Party should be read by anyone who has ever felt bored at a dinner party.

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