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Dear Sweet Pea

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  598 ratings  ·  187 reviews
The first middle grade novel from Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’ (now a popular Netflix film), is a funny, heartwarming story perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead, Ali Benjamin, and Holly Goldberg Sloan.

Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco wasn’t sure what to expect when her parents announced they were getting a divorce. She never could have imagined tha
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  598 ratings  ·  187 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was absolutely precious and my heart is so dang full.

TW: divorce, homophobia
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars

Dear Sweet Pea was such a cute read! I love Julie Murphy’s writing and I enjoyed this middle grade novel lots.

Patricia ‘Sweet Pea’ DiMarco is a middle schooler who is going through a lot. Her parents are recently divorced and now her time is split between two homes. It’s an adjustment. Things are changing and she’s having to learn to deal with the changes Thankfully, she has her best friend, Oscar. But then things happen that have her keeping secrets from Oscar and everything feels li
Layla (Between the Lines)
Review to come!
Julie Murphy's books are so heart-warming but also don't shy away from complexities and grey areas. This is a great debut into the middle grade market about a 13-year-old who has a lot of stuff going on in her life: parents' divorce, parent coming out, an ex-BFF, and an eccentric elderly neighbour who asks Sweet Pea to look after her mail for her advice column while she's gone. Sweet Pea gets herself into a wee bit of trouble. I loved this! Murphy does a great job casually integrating queer char ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Sweet Pea liked the way things were, but they wouldn't stop changing. First, she lost her best friend, Kiera, to the popular older girls. Then, her parents got divorced, and she was forced to split time between their "mirror" homes. It also seemed as though she was losing her new best friend, Oscar, because she was keeping secrets from him. Sweet Pea had all the answers for everyone else's dilemmas, but could she solve her own problems?

It was love at firs
Casey (caseydillabooks)
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
SO much to love about this.
Abby Johnson
SO GOOD, you all.

I had high hopes for Julie Murphy's first middle grade novel because I am a huge fan of Dumplin' and Puddin'. Friends, it was everything I hoped it would be.

Sweet Pea is a small town Texas girl with a lot on her plate right now. Her parents have just gotten divorced because her dad realized that he's gay. Things are heating up in the war against her former best friend who ditched her for some older, cooler, thinner? girls. And her neighbor, Miss Flora Mae the eccentric author
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sweet Pea is a 7th grader living in the small town of Valentine, TX. She struggles with the usual things—friends, school, and self-image. But she as an added challenge in that her parents have just divorced and taken the unusual step of living in almost identical houses on the same street in an effort to keep life as normal as possible for her. It doesn’t feel too normal to Sweet Pea, but she’s coping the best she can. In bouncing back and forth between her parents’ houses, Sweet Pea strikes up ...more
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
What an adorable book. Loved every page!


Full review can be found here:

I love this author and she is an auto-buy for me. I have read everything Murphy has written and loved ever word. When I heard she was writing a MG book, I knew I would read that as well. You know what? It’s just as adorable, hard hitting, though provoking, and relevant as you would image it to be. This did not disappoint.

Sweet Pea, aka Patricia (but don’t call her that), is
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so sweet! I couldn’t tell whether to give this a four or five, so I figured I’d just round up. The dad reminded me so much of mine that it made my heart do some weird things. And my parents were divorced, so I related so much to the struggles over that. Ugh. This is great.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
[HCC Frenzy sent me an ARC of ‘Dear Sweet Pea’ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!]
This story was so authentic and hopeful, full of growth and love. It perfectly handles body image, sexuality, friendship, family and growing up and moving on. When reading any middle grade book, I always hope that the characters— the kids— really come across as kids, and not as the adult author maybe mistakingly writing them to be more advanced for their age. Sweet Pea and her friends are authenti
This was so lovely! I can already picture the movie ;)
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of moving parts in this book and I am not sure if it all comes together as a middle grade novel. Sweet Pea is an engaging character and she often acts younger than a 7th grade girl. She is struggling with the loss of her best friend, Keira. The DEAR MISS FLORA MAE I asks Sweet Pea to help shuffle her advice column mail. Her friend Oscar starts growing away from her. On top of that her parents have decided to divorce since her dad is gay. The relationship she has with her parents ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am in love with this book. I aspire to be just like Flora Mae when I'm old, minus the stuffed dead cat.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good, so wholesome
Laura (bbliophile)
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This was very cute and not bad at all, but I was so bored while reading it that I almost put it down twice... again, there's nothing wrong with it, there was just something lacking. Nothing was really pulling me in and made me want to continue reading it. And I feel so bad about that because I wanted to love this book so, so badly. I still liked it! But definitely not as much as I thought I would. Ah, can you tell I'm having a hard time with this review?
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mg-fiction
Did you love Dumplin'?

Me too!

Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco is having a bit of a rough year. Her parents are getting divorced, she's got friend drama in middle school and on top of all that she starts answering letters written to her neighbor's advice column. (without permission)


I'm a sucker for a cute cat and her cat Cheese and all his antics made me smile.

I Love how hard her parents try to make things okay for her when they just
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This was really sweet and wholesome and reminded me a lot of a Kate DiCamillo book. Sweet Pea wasn't without her flaws and she read true as an authentic middle grade person, but it was her quirks that made her stand out. She has a cat named Cheese and loves the advice column in her local newspaper and splits her time between her newly divorced parents in nearly identical houses. My biggest gripe with this was her name - it grated on my nerves every time someone called her "Sweet Pea" and it real ...more
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Sweet Pea is the middle-grade debut from successful YA author Julie Murphy. Dear Sweet Pea is a delightful story about growing up, figuring your way through friendships, facing challenging family changes like divorce and the coming out of a parent, and finding your voice in the progression from middle school to high school.

When Sweet Pea’s parents announce their divorce and promise her nothing will change she didn’t expect them to set up nearly identical houses for her on the sa
Laura Gardner
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My book reviewing brain is a bit broken right now, but when one of your favorite authors (top 5!!) comes out with her first #mglit book, one has to dig deep. I checked this BRAND NEW book by @andimjulie out yesterday at 4:30 p.m. and finished by 8:30 p.m. I had to parent and cook in between, too. It's just SO GOOD. 🌟 All the stars!! 🌟 .

Pitch-perfect narration, quick moving plot, characters you can't help but adore, tons of diversity, and so much more. Did I mention it's hilarious? Issues
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 - First middle grade read in a looooong time and I’m not mad about it😻 I think Murphy hit the nail on the head on her first try at it - this is exactly the kind of novel a young girl should read!

Thirteen year old Sweet Pea is just trying to make to through 7th grade when her parents announce they’re getting a divorce. They try to make the transition as smooth as possible, by moving into almost identical houses on the same street - the only house that separates them belongs to
Kelly Hager
This is Julie Murphy's middlegrade debut, but it has all of the things I love about her YA novels: body positivity, family and friend relationships and smart, fierce women (girls, in this case). 

I loved the subplot with advice columns. I'm so fascinated by those columns and I would really like a companion novel about Miss Flora Mae. I loved that lady, and I need to know every bit of her backstory. 

But most of all, I love Sweet Pea. She's fantastic and is dealing with so m
Awesome upper middle grade realistic fiction about 13 year old Sweet Pea who’s trying to keep her life together as everything changes around her. Her parents just divorced, friendships are changing (her former best friend turned nemesis and maybe turned new friend causes her bff Oscar to feel betrayed), and she gets tasked with bringing in the mail of her advice columnist neighbor while she’s away and maybe SP starts to answer a few letters or her own...what could go wrong?
Perfect middle grade
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was really wondering how well Julie Murphy would be able to get into the middle grade mind. She's so good with teenagers and middle school is a whole 'nother critter. She did well!

I was uncomfortable with some parts of it in that some of my students aren't able to handle more than one issue at a time in a book and there are a couple of serious issues in Sweet Pea (friendships, growing up, divorce, gay, etc.). But I've been talking to some of my students and some of them (not all!)
Cassie Thomas
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was excited to finally get my hands on Dear Sweet Pea as Julie made her way to MG. I found the book to be such an easy, smooth read. One I know many of my students will be able to find some sort of connection to. With topics such as; divorce, friendship dilemmas, secrets, LGBTQ, lack of self confidence, fitting in, family, secrets, and much more. I can definitely see why Disney picked up the rights to turn into a program - the story reads very much like a movie with its flow. I’m excited to bo ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Sweet Pea's eccentric old neighbor Miss Flora Mae goes on vacation, she leaves Sweet Pea in charge of handling her mail -- a very important task, since Miss Flora Mae is the town's advice columnist. Sweet Pea can't help peeking at some of the letters, but when she finds on from her ex-best-friend, she realizes she has a chance to exact revenge for the mean treatment she's experienced over the past year since her friend dumped her.

This is a fun read, very much in line with Murphy
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you so much to the publisher and Danielle for the ARC!

I am in love with DEAR, SWEET PEA. It has so much going for it -- beautiful and complex friendships, changing family dynamics, fat representation and body positivity, and a whole host of interesting characters. Each one of them grows so much over the course of the book and even with so much explored it never feels didactic. I think this book has the makings of a middle grade classic, and I cannot wait to share it with my readers!
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, middle-grade

A fat tween girl with a fat cat named Cheese? A running obsession with ghost tourism? like please that's everything to me

This book has so much heart and humor and will make so many kids feel seen. I just loved it.
On my radar | Frenzy Presents Fall 2019

pre-read rambles
Honestly Julia Murphy is a hit or miss for me. Actually, more on the miss side. I’ve yet to try Dumplin’ but I DNF’d Side Effects May Vary and Ramona Blue. However, hearing about Dear Sweet Pea today I can’t help but think this will be the one that will end up being a hit!
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the discussions on divorce and how they were handled in this, but felt the advice column portions could have been stronger.

I got an ARC of this book at Bookcon via the publisher; all opinions are my own.
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Young Adult Conte...: #19 Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy 2 11 Oct 01, 2019 11:11AM  
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Julie lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she's not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Side Effects May Vary is Julie's debut novel.
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