ARC Review: Judy Moody and the Bucket List

bucket list.

Release Date: August 2, 2016

Judy Moody’s infamous moods will never kick the bucket.

In the thirteenth book in the popular series by Megan McDonald, Judy Moody gets a double rare idea from her Grandma Lou. She creates a bucket list of everything that she hopes to accomplish before starting fourth grade. From doing a cartwheel to visiting Antarctica (even though she only has a little over $30), Judy sets off on another moody adventure.

Just last week I read my favorite book in the entire Judy Moody series, Judy Moody Declares Independence. I loved that addition to the series because although Judy kept true to her personality, she also grew as a character and became more responsible. I actually rated that book five out of five stars. Unfortunately, this book received a lower rating from me for several reasons.

First off, I was disappointed to see that all the maturity Judy gained seemed non-existent until the very end of this book. Earlier in the series, Judy committed herself to always brushing her hair, completing her household chores, and even being nice to her younger brother. In The Bucket List, Judy demanded even more allowance even though she invented a hairbrush that didn’t actually brush her hair, neglected her daily chores, and was unnecessarily mean to her younger brother.

I also felt that the plot was very disjointed. It reminded me a lot of The NOT Bummer Summer book where Judy is checking off a list to compete with her friends. Everything Judy did related to her list, but none of the things she did every came off as very exciting like it they did in The NOT Bummer Summer. Yes, Judy Moody is meant to have moods, but she whined about everything in this book which ruined all of her experiences and the reader’s experience as well.

Another disappointment with this book were the side characters. I was fine with old favorites just having cameos since they really didn’t have any significance in this particular story. However, it seemed characters like the future dog owner and her father’s back story were just thrown in and loosely moved the story along.

Even though I did have a few negatives, I also enjoyed a couple aspects of this story. Even though I wish we saw Grandma Lou more in the story, I really liked seeing Judy’s relationship with someone else in her family. I think a lot of children would relate to how Judy felt about her grandmother. Also, we get to see a more sympathetic side of Judy with her grandmother. In the end, Judy makes a selfless decision, which is double rare for her, to help her grandmother achieve a dream.

While I thought this book was okay, it is definitely not my favorite in the Judy Moody series. Since I liked Judy’s relationship with her grandmother, but felt the character growth, plot, and side characters were lacking, I give this book three out of five stars.

I received Judy Moody and the Bucket List from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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