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The Many Fortunes of Maya - Review

*I received a copy from TBR Beyond Book Tour via Versify Books. All reviews are my own.*

As of late, I’ve been stuck in a whirlwind of novellas and audiobooks. Reading just isn’t hitting as it should be during this year’s first quarter. To keep the slump dragon at bay, I’ve been keeping it light and short, and this middle-grade book I picked up is no different from my initiative.

"Maya J. Jenkins is bursting with questions:
Will she get the MVP award at this year's soccer banquet?Who will win the big grill off between Daddy and Uncle J?When will she pass the swim test and get a green bracelet?For answers and a dose of good luck, 12-year-old Maya turns to her Wheel of Fortunes, a cardboard circle covered with the small slips of wisdom she's collected from fortune cookies.
But can the fortunes answer her deep-down questions? The ones she's too scared to ask out loud? Like, where did Mama's smile go, the real one that lit up everything around her? When will Daddy move back home? And most of all, does she have enough courage to truly listen to the voice in her heart?"

The Many Fortunes of Maya by Nicole D. Collier is a story of a young girl learning how to accept change for the betterment of herself. Maya is a winner and wants to make her family and friends proud, especially her dad. But her world is upended when she loses out on the MVP trophy from her soccer team AND is hit with the unsettling news that her parents are considering separating. It’s a lot to deal with as an eleven-year-old.

What I appreciated about this story is that Collier took us through a child’s perspective of experiencing a pending divorce. I’m not sure why kids always think a parent’s separation has something to do with them, and from the story, Maya was no different. While Maya tries to keep everything the same, she learns that letting go and trying new things is okay. Putting yourself first heals faster than trying to meet everyone else’s expectations.

Overall I gave the story 4-stars. It’s a quick, quote-worthy read with a message that applies to anyone. I was so invested in this book that I started thinking about the characters outside of the scope. What if there was a short story spin-off on everybody’s feelings during this time in Maya’s life? I would love to see the story behind Maya’s mother and her swimming accolades. I guess this is my way of saying that the story stays with you even after you close the book. Hey Collier, for my indulgence, ever thought about a novella sequel?

The Many Fortunes of Maya is available now

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