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Dear Sweet Pea

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,648 ratings  ·  371 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
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,648 ratings  ·  371 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fat-girl-gang
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 like a
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars!

A really sweet and heartwarming middle grade read. I highly recommend for readers of all ages!
I chose this one for the "Middle Grade" section of a Reading Challenge I'm participating in. I have previously liked Julie Murphy's Dumplin' series and I thought this one was also cute. I'm not particularly into Middle Grade books, but this was definitely a sweet story for someone who is or a younger reader.
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 ...more
Sweet Pea is a seventh grader trying to figure out life. She’s living in mirror houses since her parents divorced. They have two houses next to each other, made to be identical so the transition is easier. But life is not easier for her. She’s trying to figure out how to deal with the divorce, embrace being fat, losing her old best friend, and how to keep her new best friend, Oscar. There’s so many life changes occurring for the thirteen year old, she may need to get some advice from the town ...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 first page for me and Sweet
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.
Casey (caseydillabooks)
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-10-of-2019
SO much to love about this.
This is sweet. A very solid middle school book about a girl going through a divorce with two civil parents who are still friends while trying to manage her own changing friendships on the cusp of 8th grade. There is little romance in here other than small crushes which was kinda nice and refreshing. I would recommend.
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
3.5+ stars with extra points for Sweet Pea.

Sweet Pea DiMarco is a thirteen-year-old girl with a double chin and a cat named Cheese. Her world has been upended by her parents recent divorce, or as her therapist mom calls it "mindful division." Sweet Pea's dad, who has recently come out as gay, moved out and into a nearly identical house two doors down. Mom has the original house and Dad has the duplicate - complete with all the same furnishings. Sweet Pea divides her week between her two parents
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.
This was so lovely! I can already picture the movie ;)
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 not
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 authentic
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, but 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 writer 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 ...more
Shaye Miller
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dear Sweet Pea is Julie Murphy's middle grade debut and so I was excited when it became available as an audiobook through Overdrive. Patricia DiMarco, only known as Sweet Pea, is a 7th grader, navigating the world of recently-divorced parents. Her father finally admitted that he is gay and, together, her parents decided to end their marriage (they refused to use the word "divorce"). Sweet Pea's parents arrange mirror houses just two doors down from one another, which means having the same paint ...more
Kim Bongiorno
Pitch-perfect middle grade that is charming, funny, moving and relatable.

Sweet Pea's parents are divorcing, and to ease the transition they get near-identical houses on the same street. Now settled in, her parents are starting their new lives. In the midst of this, Sweet Pea ends up in that growing-pains tangle of unresolved issues with an old BFF and new speed bumps with her current BFF. Throw in the weird lady across the street who seems like she could use a little breather from her advice
Colleen Oakes
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Julie Murphy continues to be one of my favorite authors of all time, hitting it out of the park with this sweet (and I cannot emphasize this enough, SWEET SWEET SWEET) middle grade novel. As a child of divorce myself, this was the book that I wish I had when I was eight years old, listening to my parents fight at night. It was the book I needed; and I'm so glad children of divorce can read it now.

From Cheese the cat to Oscar the reliable and surprising best friend (and a fully formed character
Hannah Curtis
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julie Murphy is a girl after my own heart. She's a former library person and a North Texas gal. She also writes some of my favorite books. I haven't been motivated to pick up a book in months and I couldn't help but come back to this. I loved Sweet Pea and could feel her 13 year old confusion and it felt so real. I've been on the other side of the coming out experience too and it's hard to grasp sometimes but you fiercely want to protect that person. I've grown apart from elementary school ...more
Pam  Page
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dear Sweet Pea kept me captivated from beginning to end. There is a lot going on in Sweet Pea's life: parents divorcing because her father is gay, bullying at school, taking care of Miss Flora Mae's house (and advice column), and troubles with her best friend Oscar. Sweet Pea is refreshing and we can all relate to her because she does not always make the best decisions, struggles with acceptance of friends and her body, and comes to realize how important honesty is.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It was so cute and it is just what I needed at the moment! I loved all the characters they felt very realistic! I loved the body positivity and it needs to be done more often! This book left a smile on my face! I hope there would be a sequel!
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow but this was absolutely delightful!
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?
Erin Logan
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Sweet Pea's parents divorce and attempt to keep her life as "normal" as possible by giving her two seemingly identical houses on the same street. When the town advice columnist, who happens to live between SP's two houses, leaves town and charges SP with sending off her advice letters, she begins to uncover some secrets among her family, friends, and herself. This book was heart-warming and charming and the perfect middle grade book from the fabulous Julie Murphy. I have it on my middle school ...more
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 can't fix the way things have to be now.
Giggled at
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Young Adult Conte...: #19 Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy 2 13 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.