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In the Role of Brie Hutchens...

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Introducing Brie Hutchens: soap opera super fan, aspiring actor, and so-so student at her small Catholic school. Brie has big plans for eighth grade. She’s going to be the star of the school play and convince her parents to let her go to the performing arts high school. But when Brie’s mom walks in on her accidentally looking at some possibly inappropriate photos of her fa ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 30th 2020 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it

Brie Hutchens is a dramatic girl, but she sort of has to be.

She's an aspiring actress, after all, and she's learned most of her craft from the Soaps she watches with her Mom.

As an 8th grader, she currently has her sights set on the school play, which she will use as a stepping stone for her application to a Performing Arts High School.

Additionally, at her private Catholic School, it is tradition for one of the 8th grade students to 'crown Mary' at a May Crowning ceremony. An acting
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This one was okay! Not a new favorite, but I appreciate that it exists and I think I would have really, really loved this if it had been around when I was in middle school.
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: sapphic (probably lesbian) mc & li

Review also on my blog. ARC provided by the publisher.

This book was an emotional punch straight to the heart, in all the best (gay) ways. It’s also very clearly an ownvoices story and that truth shines through every page and settles this specific kind of calm over the reader. 

The story itself is pretty simple (a teen start figuring out her sexuality & the world doesn’t make it easy for her), but it’s not the dry outline that makes a book, is it? It’s the em
Nenia ⭐️ Queen of Awkward ⭐️ Campbell
This sounds like so much fun-- gay, soap operas, theater? YES

Apparently I won a copy of this!!! WOO HOO!!!!
Star Rating: —> 4 Stars

This was such a great middle grade, coming out, coming of [high school] age read! RTC
jess ✨
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
"Her mom didn't recognize her and hadn't been able to ever since Brie had started figuring out exactly who she was."

I usually start writing my reviews right after I finish the book, most of the time using notes I've already written down, thoughts I had here and there, only adding final thoughts and considerations. 

With this book I actually had to step back and let my emotions go from full messy and all over the place to something calmer so I could write this and I'm still not sure how to even pu
Brie Hutchens is an eighth-grader at a Catholic school. She loves soap operas and dreams of being the star of the school play. She wants to go to drama school next year. Brie also has feelings that she's pretty sure are different than the other kids at her school. For instance, she gets a fluttery feeling looking at photos online of her favorite soap opera actress. But when Brie's (very religious) mom walks in on her doing so, Brie freaks out and tells her Mom she's been chosen to crown the Mary ...more
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This adorable middle grade follows Brie Hutchens, a massive soap opera fan, aspiring actress and reluctant student. After being caught accidentally looking at inappropriate photos of her favourite actress, Brie gets herself caught up in a lie. Brie tells her mum she’ll be crowning Mary, an honour reserved for top students at her Catholic school. And now Brie has to make her lie come true to avoid getting in trouble and to do so, befriends Kennedy, the top student in her year. But someti
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
It seems to be a pretty common experience that when queer people are seeking representation in media they somehow end up falling down a rabbit hole on YouTube, watching hundreds of clips of gay storylines on soap operas. I’ve definitely been there lol. So I thought it was a really cool idea to have a Middle Grade book where a 13 year old girl is figuring out her sexuality while watching soap operas and seeking out queer storylines in that medium.

The entire book isn’t about soap operas, it mostl
4.5 stars

I'm so grateful this story exists. Reading this book I couldn't help but think how much this will help young queer girls who are questioning/exploring their sexuality since that can be extremely tough, especially if one finds themselves in a not very accepting environment.

In the Role of Brie Hutchens has it all: romance, humour, loveable characters and an important message to top it all off.

Brie is a really well-rounded character - I can definitely picture as an actual 13-year-old g
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I feel so lucky to have gotten to read this book by my Pitch Wars co-mentor Nicole Melleby early, because this book will change lives for queer readers. It changed mine, anyway, and I am convinced it would've been a story I'd have dog-eared to near-disintegration if it'd been around when I was trying to figure myself out as a kid.

Brie knows she likes girls. She doesn't know how she feels about Catholicism and the religious lessons she's learning in Catholic school. As someone raised religious (
Eva B.
Mar 18, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: hoopla
Closeted theatre kid at a Catholic school?? In eighth grade??? Hey ARC people! I, uh, have some personal experience with that.
The Nerd Daily
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler

Reasons to Pick up a Copy:

- Brie’s favourite pastime is watching soap operas with her mother and it’s the cutest
- Catholic school girl falls for other Catholic school girl sounds like a tagline from fanfiction and it is gloriously executed
- You will want to hug Brie’s dad when you hear of the sacrifices he makes for his daughter
- Parker, Brie’s best friend, is a supportive honeybee and deserves all the awards – who said thirteen-year
alana ♡
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Nothing will change if you stop trying.”

I absolutely love that a middle grade book like this exists. It’s not too often that I dive into reading within the MG age group but I’m so glad I gave this one a chance because I think it’s a really important read. In the Role of Brie Hutchens is a story about an eighth grade girl who has big plans for her last year before high school that includes being the star of the school play and getting into her dream high school for performing arts to help he
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit, read-in-2020
This book is so, so, so important!!! Goodness, what wonders it would have done for so many, including myself, to have had this book while growing up.

Brie Hutchens, a soap-opera loving 8th grade Catholic school student figures out she's gay and in a very slapsticky kind of moment, to keep her mom from seeing her look at pictures of boobs, she tells a lie about an academic achievement she hasn't yet earned (and probably won't earn). This is a STUNNING story about coming out, figuring yourself out,
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brie was a very dramatic and mediocre 8th grade student. Her dramatics were part of her life goal to be an actress- a soap opera actress. Her mediocre grades did not reflect her true intelligence, and for a period of time she was goal oriented to complete all homework and study for tests- much to the delight of her parents and teachers. However, at times, Brie could be her own worst enemy. For example, Brie lied about an important religious school event in order to make her mom feel proud of her ...more
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brie Hutchens lied to her mom in a panic when she almost got caught looking up naked photos of her favorite actress. Being a mediocre student at a Catholic school, her lie of being chosen to crown Mary was unlikely to come true. And it certainly did not help when Kennedy, the perfect girl in her class, gave Brie butterflies in the stomach.

I did not plan on reading this book from Holy Saturday to the midnight of Easter. It felt special when I realized so.

Melleby did a wonderful job of tackling th
elin (annotatedpaperbacks)
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
wowowowowowow!!! this book broke my heart and put it back together so many times! put it on your tbr shelves for next year, people, and a full review will come!
Abby Johnson
Loved this book. Brie is a great character who leaps off the page with her obsession with soap operas and the drama in her own life. It's an interesting exploration of coming out in a religious family and exploring what religion means to you, something that kids Brie's age are certainly doing more than in typically depicted in middle grade and teen books.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of IN THE ROLE OF BRIE HUTCHENS by Nicole Melleby in exchange for my honest review.***


Eighth-grader Brie uses old soap opera scenes to make sense of her life and her crushes on girls. Now that her mom works full time, they no longer bond watching General Hospital. Brie isn’t sure her mom will love her if she finds out Brie is gay. Lies, trouble in school and family problems add up to a whole lot of angst for Brie just when Ken
•°• gabs •°•
ARC provided by NetGalley but all opinions are my own.

"Brie never felt ready, no matter how many times she had to say the words. She hoped that Kennedy would figure out how to do it on her own time. She hoped that when she did it, it would be because she was ready. Not because she felt pressured to."

so i am... crying. jsdfsh no one is surprised. i knew i would love this book because i love Nicole's writing and i adore her other book, Hurricane Season, which is one of my favorite books of all
Steve Tetreault
What it's about: Brie Hutchens has a powerful personality, but she's very confused. She's confused about why her dad has to be the janitor at her school, which is totally embarrassing. She's confused about why she and her mom can't spend more time together watching their beloved soap operas because her mom is spending more time at work. She's confused about why her best friend Parker can't just decide on a boy to like. And she's confused about the feelings she's having, because she doesn't like ...more
Kelly Quindlen
I loved this endearing MG novel! It felt like the way Judy Blume might write a book about a queer girl discerning her identity in middle school. The family dynamics were lovely. The crush was so sweet.
Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: possess, arc
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I haven't thought about General Hospital or All My Children in years! I remember coming home from school and doing homework while my mom "watched her soaps." If she wasn't going to be home for one, she had several blank VHS tapes that she would record them on (showing my age here, haha). Once those were
Emily Waller
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is absolutely 100% THE YA book I recommend to lovers of realistic fiction. I cried at least three times. The story line itself is pretty simple, but there is SO MUCH emotion in Brie’s story. Anyone who is an LGBT ally, has struggled in adolescence with fitting in, had rocky relationships with their parents, struggled with their faith, or struggled with their sexuality will feel for Brie’s story in some way. I simply cannot recommend this book enough.

Brie is an 8th grader at a Catholic scho
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-books
Brie is an 8th grader who loves soap operas and finds that she is more attracted to girls than boys. In this novel Brie navigates her feelings, faith (her family is Catholic and she attends a Catholic private school), family & friendships.

I particularly enjoyed the way the author incorporated Brie’s love of soap operas in the storyline and in each chapter heading.

The relationship conflicts between Brie and her parents, her and her friends and even within herself were developed well.

Everyone ne
(Ellie) ReadtoRamble
I read this book for a blog tour, so thank you to the publisher and the author for letting me take part in this tour, and thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This book is a great LGBT middle grade in which we follow Brie Hutchens, a 13-year-old young girl who goes to a private Catholic school in America with her friends. Throughout this book, Brie starts to question her faith, she doesn't understand why
Paige Green
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: In the Role of Brie Hutchens

Author: Nicole Melleby

Book Series: Standalone

Diversity: LGBT+ main character

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For...: LGBT, coming out, theatre, romance, finding yourself

Publication Date: June 30, 2020

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 261

Recommended Age: 14+ (finding yourself, coming out, romance)

Synopsis: Introducing Brie Hutchens: soap opera super fan, aspiring actor, and so-so st
The Resistance Bookclub
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I started this book thinking it would end up a solid 3/5 - a good book but not exactly a favourite. But by the time I hit the halfway mark it was catapulted to a 4 and eventually 5-star read. I guess this places it as a 4.5/5 overall.
First things first, I cried. Actually cried. I was sitting in my living room waiting for my mum to come home and I cried.
"In the Role of Brie Hutchens" is a wonderful book that explores religion, sexuality, the normal spectrum of teenage emotions and mess-ups, and
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Nicole Melleby is a born-and-bred Jersey girl with a passion for storytelling. She is the author of HURRICANE SEASON (a Lambda Literary Finalist), IN THE ROLE OF BRIE HUTCHENS..., and the upcoming HOW TO BECOME A PLANET (2021). She is also the co-editor of the queer middle grade anthology THIS IS OUR RAINBOW: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us (2021). When she’s not writing, Nicole can be found ...more

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