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Kind of a Big Deal

2.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,180 ratings  ·  703 reviews
From Shannon Hale, bestselling author of Austenland, comes Kind of a Big Deal: a hilarious, madcap story that will suck you in―literally.

There's nothing worse than peaking in high school. Nobody knows that better than Josie Pie.

She was kind of a big deal―she dropped out of high school to be a star! But the bigger you are, the harder you fall. And Josie fell. Hard. Ouch. Br
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 25th 2020 by Roaring Brook Press
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Popular Answered Questions
Andy Slight making out. The age range is 12-18, but I honestly think it is for younger audiences (10-14, maybe.)
Kenzie A little bit, one of the characters is transgender.

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Average rating 2.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,180 ratings  ·  703 reviews

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Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

This book bored me almost to actual tears.

It's all about Josie Pie (not her real name, Pie is the surname of her boyfriend Justin whom she hasn't actually spoken to in like months) who was a big deal back in high school, as she repeatedly informs anyone who'll listen. She dropped out of her last year and tried to make it big on Broadway. The attempt failed big-time, and now she's somehow the live-in nanny to a five-year-old girl i
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I've loved Shannon Hale since I was 9, when I read Princess Academy for the first time and then proceeded to reread it about a million times. Then I read the Books of Bayern and adored those. So when I saw I got approved for this ARC, I kinda freaked out in excitement because I just knew I was going to love it.

...I did not love it...

As quite a few other reviewers have said, this book
Sherwood Smith
This will be spoilery.

One thing I've noticed about Shannon Hale is that she strikes out in different directions with her books, instead of writing the same winning story over and over, with slightly differing trappings.

In this latest novel, teenage Josie Pie was a high school drama star who left school for a one-shot audition on Broadway, blew it, and ended up in Montana as a live-in nanny for a small girl. We never learn how anyone in their right mind would hire a totally inexperienced teen to
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, favourites
"We tend to think of life as all linear," Nina went on, "as if each moment, each year, has to be better than the last, and if it's not, we failed. But we're all of it at the same time. And then some. So be patient with yourself, Josie. Don't judge yourself by any one moment. Allow yourself room to change."

representation: Greek MC, gay minor character, trans side character, OCD.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


Not me reading the lowest r
Kate (BloggingwithDragons)
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ever start a book and know it just isn’t for you? That was Kind of a Big Deal for me. I was drawn to the book due to the concept of the main character, 17 year-old Josie “Pie” Sergakis jumping into actual books and becoming part of the story. Who hasn’t wanted to do that? I certainly loved it in Austenland. But unfortunately, no matter what role i
Jordan Ifueko
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"My life isn't a flop. It's a comedy."

Shannon Hale, a staple author during my teen years, consistently explores coming-of-age struggles that her genre underplays, this time with a magical fantasy edge. KIND OF A BIG DEAL lovingly tackles that torturous transition period between a "gifted" childhood to a jarringly mediocre adulthood. Many of us were encouraged to attach our identities to a talent during adolescence, whether that was high grades, a sparkly artistic skill, or status among our peers
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Musicals were better than real life. And if Josie could make a wish, she'd live in one forever."

This book has everything: Dramatic musical numbers. A family of overly attractive booksellers. Escaping reality (literally) by reading books. Realistic depictions of teenage relationships and friendships and how they change over time. An unlikable main character who I also kind of love. Theatre kids. Pretentious English majors. Impromptu Spice Girls??

Josie Pie dropped out of high school to move t

Nov 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars
A half star for the pretty cover and a one star for managing to write a book, I guess.

I was so close to just putting this down halfway through but I thought no, let’s see where this goes, maybe Josie will realise what she’s doing.

My friends, she did not.

This book has a lot of promise – a story about a girl who gets drawn into the different books she’s reading thus experiencing a historical romance, a zombie fic and a YA Romance has potential, but it went nowhere. It almost seemed as
Despite the jumping into a book vibes, this one turned out to be a bit of chore to read. Josie is a delightful main character and having her literally fall into several different genres was a big part of what I liked about the book. Her sassy commentary on her book adventures reminded me of the Rebel Wilson film "Isn't It Romantic" and I really thought that was well done. So, what's not to like in this new release from Shannon Hale? The "in book" episodes got a little lengthy and complicated. He ...more
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, netgalley, own, x20-6-read
Reading is magical right? A good book transports its readers into another world, another dimension and the impossible comes to life. I really think that was exactly what Shannon Hale was trying to do with KIND OF A BIG DEAL as her main character, Josie is transported into each book she reads, while her fellow characters look like people from her “real” world.

Great idea, great concept, but for me it just became a little too splintered and never really got off the ground and Josie wasn’t that lika
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, arcs
My biggest takeaway from Kind of a Big Deal is that it felt like it was one book trying to be too many different things. As the story is about our main character, Josie Pie, being able to jump into stories, this wasn't entirely unexpected. For any type of portal story to work, there needs to be some sort of grounding element that helps hold all the disparate elements together. Unfortunately for this story, the grounding element was how utterly frustrating Josie was as a main character. I found h ...more
Danielle (yaallegiance)
Wasn't really into the book for 80% of it but enjoyed the overall message and themes ...more
Jessica C Writes
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-fantasy
I was so close to DNF'ing this book at every second. The main character is so unlikeable that it became hard to read from her perspective. She was awful at communicating, but so were all of the other characters. None of them seemed realistic.

Then, there was the plot. It didn't really make any sense to me, and the writing of it as a whole felt more like a middle-grade novel than YA.

This was such an interesting concept but the execution was unfortunately very poor.
Samantha (WLABB)
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fabulism, arcs, audiobooks
Once upon a time, Josie was kind of a big deal. She owned her high school stage, and there were many who believed she would "make it". Encouraged by her drama teacher, she dropped out of school to audition for a Broadway production in NY. But after not quite making the cut, she fled and hid out in Montana working as a Nanny. Feeling the weight of her failures, she found herself escaping via the pages of a book, but there seemed to be a bit of magic fueling these escapes.

I had a rather good time
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
I was pretty excited a see a new book by Shannon Hale. I've really loved so many of her earlier books and the premise for this book sounded intriguing. Unfortunately, I didn't love this book quite as much as I had hoped.

Josie was a difficult character for me to connect with. I didn't really like her so it made it hard to stay focused and really care about what was happening to her. Her character did show growth by the end so that was good. Josie definitely felt like a teenager so the author nai
Samantha Fondriest
This book is painful. I made it 10% of the way in and gave up. Yikes.
Liesl Shurtliff
Okay, this book is definitely not going to be for everyone, but as a musical theater nerd and an appreciator of strange things, I enjoyed it. It was a good escape book for me, light and funny, completely weird, with some moment of depth, and I'm just a big fan of Shannon Hale in general. ...more
Lindsay Theaker
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Omg, Shannon Hale, can we be best friends? The plot of this book is basically a dream. Josie Pie is a dream protagonist. When her life is falling apart and her aspirations have landed her nowhere, she literally finds herself in falling into a book over and over again living as the lead in a variety of genres. I absolutely loved the creativity of this book, and Josie Pie’s voice is one I wanted with me far after it was over. It was like a teenage girl version of The Pagemaster with so much more m ...more
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
Josie Pie was "kind of a big deal" in high school, starring in all the musicals, popular, kind. But her post-high school life is a bit of a mess, and she's having a hard time moving on.

I had a hard time categorizing this book. Is it adult? Teen? New adult? Probably the latter, although I haven't read any others in that genre to compare.

I honestly didn't enjoy the first three-quarters of the book. I enjoyed the concept of jumping into books, and there were some funny bits, but it was overall a d
Jay G
Oct 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
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*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion*

1.5/5 Stars

After dropping out of high school, Josie Pie moved to New York to live out her dream of Broadway. Unfortunately, she wasn't as big of a deal as she thought. She has also been feeling that her bestfriend Nina, and boyfriend, Justin, have been growing distant ever since she left. She moves to
Gary Anderson
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shannon Hale’s new young adult novel Kind of a Big Deal (Roaring Brook Press) is a comedic bop likely to appeal to theater kids and those who are ready to read something fun.

Josie freely admits that she peaked in high school--that is, before she dropped out. Josie is a musical theater sensation in her school, a star on her campus and in her Arizona hometown. When her director sets Josie up with a Broadway audition, she heads to New York. Things there don’t go as planned. (Gosh, this book is har
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy via the publisher.

This was a surprisingly fun, unique, and funny story about a girl who was let down by a lot of people in her life and is left to navigate some of the biggest life mistakes she’s ever made. Yes she was unlikeable, but imagine a person who was so built up to believe that the world owed her everything, only to be abandoned when she learned it didn’t. She was a kid and even though she is now a nanny, and is expected to act like an adult, she’s still a kid trying
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't what I expected at all and was really odd, but also pretty great. I definitely recommend going in without much knowledge of the book because it's a ride. ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Trigger Warnings: Slut shaming, brief mention of divorce and alcoholism, stereotyping, mention of anxiety attacks, zombies, gore and violence, hunting, transphobia and assault (past), mugging, child neglect
mia :)
Oct 07, 2020 rated it liked it
It's such a cute idea but the story within a story books never quite work for me. I am a huge fan of Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern series and would highly recommend those though. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bibliophiles’ FUN!

Josie has a lot to learn, about herself, the world, her friends, her family, responsibility, and humility. She starts her journey in this book, but she also escapes into books. No really, *into* books. And like so many of us, Josie learns about herself and the world through books. Bodice-rippers, apocalyptic zombie slashers, historical fiction, graphic novels, and more all make their way into this book.

Reminiscent of Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore, but with a heaping of Sha
Dec 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I almost let the reviews deter me from this one, but it was actually enjoyable!

Sometimes it was hard to remember Josie was 18 cause this felt like a younger YA, but I think her age really helped contribute to that feeling of being in-between childhood and adulthood. I also think the backstory of how she ended up in Montana was really interesting and realistic for a lot of actors trying to make it. The story itself was funny and self aware at times. I like that the different book scenarios helpe
Katie Mac
Aug 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya
I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As someone who devoured and loved Shannon Hale's work in the past, I'm so disappointed with this book and am sad to give it a low rating. Like many other reviewers here, I requested this both because of the author and because the premise sounded intriguing--a girl who escapes reality by literally immersing herself in books seems like a compelling adventure. Unfortunately, the execution is poor.

Hale tries to promote
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I so wanted to love this book because what book lover doesn't dream of slipping into their favorite story for even a minute but unfortunately this fell flat for me. The overall writing style was fine but it was the lack of connection that I felt to the main character that really brought this book down for me. I was just never able to feel like I understood her and the decisions she made throughout the book.

The rom
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Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including the upcoming Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel's Reveng ...more

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