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Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai

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When Jenna Sakai gets dumped over winter break, it confirms what she learned from her parents' messy divorce: Relationships are risky and only lead to disappointment. So even though she still has to see her ex-boyfriend Elliott at newspaper club, Jenna is going to be totally heartless this semester -- no boys, just books. But keeping her cool isn't always easy. Jenna's chie When Jenna Sakai gets dumped over winter break, it confirms what she learned from her parents' messy divorce: Relationships are risky and only lead to disappointment. So even though she still has to see her ex-boyfriend Elliott at newspaper club, Jenna is going to be totally heartless this semester -- no boys, just books. But keeping her cool isn't always easy. Jenna's chief competition for a big journalism scholarship is none other than Elliott. Her best friend Keiko always seems busy with her own boyfriend. And cute-but-incredibly-annoying Rin Watanabe keeps stealing her booth at the diner she's been hiding at every day after school. Rin is every bit as stubborn and detached as Jenna. And the more Jenna gets to know him, the more intriguing a mystery he seems. Soon Jenna is starting to realize that being a loner is kind of, well, lonely. And letting people in might just be a risk worth taking.


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When Jenna Sakai gets dumped over winter break, it confirms what she learned from her parents' messy divorce: Relationships are risky and only lead to disappointment. So even though she still has to see her ex-boyfriend Elliott at newspaper club, Jenna is going to be totally heartless this semester -- no boys, just books. But keeping her cool isn't always easy. Jenna's chie When Jenna Sakai gets dumped over winter break, it confirms what she learned from her parents' messy divorce: Relationships are risky and only lead to disappointment. So even though she still has to see her ex-boyfriend Elliott at newspaper club, Jenna is going to be totally heartless this semester -- no boys, just books. But keeping her cool isn't always easy. Jenna's chief competition for a big journalism scholarship is none other than Elliott. Her best friend Keiko always seems busy with her own boyfriend. And cute-but-incredibly-annoying Rin Watanabe keeps stealing her booth at the diner she's been hiding at every day after school. Rin is every bit as stubborn and detached as Jenna. And the more Jenna gets to know him, the more intriguing a mystery he seems. Soon Jenna is starting to realize that being a loner is kind of, well, lonely. And letting people in might just be a risk worth taking.

30 review for Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai

  1. 5 out of 5

    Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)

    Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai is a compulsively-readable middle grade release, perfect for fans of upper middle grade stories. This realistic contemporary novel handles tough themes like the process and reality of parental divorce, a tween experiencing the fall-out of a breakup, kids managing busy school schedules, and keeping bonds of friendship alive. It also highlights the value of vulnerability and how powerful it can be to open one’s heart to the affections of others. I loved this one, and can’ Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai is a compulsively-readable middle grade release, perfect for fans of upper middle grade stories. This realistic contemporary novel handles tough themes like the process and reality of parental divorce, a tween experiencing the fall-out of a breakup, kids managing busy school schedules, and keeping bonds of friendship alive. It also highlights the value of vulnerability and how powerful it can be to open one’s heart to the affections of others. I loved this one, and can’t wait to read whatever Debbi Michiko Florence writes next. Read my full review on my blog. Many thanks to the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mycoton32

    14/20 - https://www.leslecturesdemylene.com/2... 14/20 - https://www.leslecturesdemylene.com/2...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Jenna, who is friends with Keiko Carter, is dealing with a few issues in her life. Her father and mother have recently divorced, and her father has moved to Texas. Her mother is pushing her to do better in school so that she can get scholarships, which makes sense, since Jenna has overheard her mother telling an aunt that the child support agreement doesn't cover college. Jenna has also broken up with her boyfriend, Elliott, who worked on the school newspaper with E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Jenna, who is friends with Keiko Carter, is dealing with a few issues in her life. Her father and mother have recently divorced, and her father has moved to Texas. Her mother is pushing her to do better in school so that she can get scholarships, which makes sense, since Jenna has overheard her mother telling an aunt that the child support agreement doesn't cover college. Jenna has also broken up with her boyfriend, Elliott, who worked on the school newspaper with her. Since they hung out a lot, she had neglected Keiko a bit, but Keiko is now spending a lot of time with her boyfriend, Connor, and his friends. Jenna and Keiko make an effort to reconnect, and Jenna throws herself into a newspaper club contest, looking for something to investigate. She finds a new, quiet spot to hang out after school, Leigh's Stage Diner, and has a favorite booth where she has a roasted strawberry milkshake and, when she can afford it, cheese fries. When Rin Wantanabe shows up in HER booth, she is not happy, but the two start grudgingly hanging out. Jenna's friend Isabelle has decided not to do an investigative piece on why a million dollar donation was spent on the school cafeteria, so Jenna picks it up and starts to look into it. Things continue with Rin, who likes to draw, although Jenna is not pleased when he offers to pay for some of her food, and the two seem to argue a lot. When Jenna finds out that Rin's family has a connection to the donation, tensions increase. At the same time, Jenna's father wants to come back into her life, and Jenna feels her steely resolve to not let anyone into her life dissolving. Will she be able to write a good piece for the contest AND maintain her friendships? Strengths: I love the fact that this is a companion to Keep it Together, Keiko Carter, but doesn't have to be read with it. It reminds me a bit of Lisa Yee's Millicent Min, Emily Ebers, and Stanford Wong, which all focus on different friends, or Claudia Mills' After School Super Stars. Jenna is struggling to balance all of her activities and friendships, and also has to take care of herself; her mother does want texts from her, but she is allowed a bit more leeway in where she goes, although she is still not allowed to use the stove. It's good to see the parameters that actual tweens have to deal with represented in literature! Jenna's attitude that she should lock her feelings away is balanced by the very on-trend attempts by Keiko to get her friend to open up. There aren't a lot of books that deal with EX-boyfriends, so it was interesting to see how Jenna dealt with Elliott still being around her at school. The diner was a fun setting, and reading this made me REALLY hungry for a strawberry milkshake. Weaknesses: There hasn't been a school newspaper at my middle school for over 25 years, so books involving school newspaper tend not to circulate very well. Since this is tied to another book, however, I think it will circulate. What I really think: The first book has circulated well, and there is always a need for books involving light romances and friend drama, so I will definitely purchase this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bookevin

    Hello, just a teeny bit in love with this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    TheNextGenLibrarian

    “Pushing people away was exhausting. And lonesome.” 🥤 Jenna Sakai is over relationships ever since breaking up with her first boyfriend, Elliott over winter break. All it did was remind her of her parents’ divorce and that relationships just don’t work. Jenna decides to throw herself into the newspaper club, despite the fact that she has to keep working with Know-It-All Elliott. In order to escape him, her BFF Keiko and her boyfriend Carter, who are just too happy in love together, Jenna finds her “Pushing people away was exhausting. And lonesome.” 🥤 Jenna Sakai is over relationships ever since breaking up with her first boyfriend, Elliott over winter break. All it did was remind her of her parents’ divorce and that relationships just don’t work. Jenna decides to throw herself into the newspaper club, despite the fact that she has to keep working with Know-It-All Elliott. In order to escape him, her BFF Keiko and her boyfriend Carter, who are just too happy in love together, Jenna finds herself in a local Broadway-themed diner everyday after school. Except she’s having to share her booth with Rin Watanabe, who gets under her skin like no other. But after weeks of cohabitation in the Hamilton booth, Jenna grows more curious about the guitar-playing, manga artist. When her investigative journalism article finds herself researching Rin’s family, Jenna will have to decide what’s more important: her new friendship or her dream of being a reporter. 🍟 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Florence is the queen of the MG romance! I’ve yet to read another middle grade book that centers around relationships like her two titles do. It was “kawaii” (cute in Japanese) and I adored the representation. My students who aren’t quite ready for YA romance will love this book releasing August 3! So as much as I loved Keiko…I found it really hard to like Jenna in this book. She was fine in book 1, but soooo unlikeable, angry and rude to everyone until the end. It wasn’t enough to redeem her IMO. 2.5 ⭐️

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    I was so happy to dive back into the world of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, the companion to this new book. Just Be Cool centers on Keiko's best friend, Jenna Sakai. Jenna is going through a lot, but she can manage it, so she thinks. This book deftly handles the complications, and complicated emotions, of being in middle school. There are crushes, best friends, competition, and heartbreak. Author Debbi Michiko Florence guides us through it all with a sweet, funny story that I absolutely loved. I was so happy to dive back into the world of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, the companion to this new book. Just Be Cool centers on Keiko's best friend, Jenna Sakai. Jenna is going through a lot, but she can manage it, so she thinks. This book deftly handles the complications, and complicated emotions, of being in middle school. There are crushes, best friends, competition, and heartbreak. Author Debbi Michiko Florence guides us through it all with a sweet, funny story that I absolutely loved. My favorite part is how beautifully Florence builds out the world we first read about in Keiko's book. It was fun to visit Pacific Vista again, seeing some of my favorite (and not so favorite) characters again, and especially the (new to this book) diner where Jenna hangs out - and first meets Rin Watanabe (!!). I also loved the beautiful details about Japanese American culture, some of which I knew and some I didn't. (I learned that "kawaii" means "cute"!) If you haven't read Keiko, you'll still love Jenna (and want to go back and read Keiko), and if you have read Keiko, then you'll absolutely adore Jenna!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patti Barker

    This is a great middle-grade read! As the companion novel to Keep it Together, Keiko Carter, this novel has several of the same characters and Jenna is familiar to readers, but it can be read stand alone. It deals wit a lot of the issues middle grade readers can relate to- divorce, friendships, break-ups, crushes and pursuing your dreams. Jenna has built up a wall after her parents divorce and her breakup with fellow aspiring journalist Elliott (did anyone keep hear Elliott said in E.T.'s voice This is a great middle-grade read! As the companion novel to Keep it Together, Keiko Carter, this novel has several of the same characters and Jenna is familiar to readers, but it can be read stand alone. It deals wit a lot of the issues middle grade readers can relate to- divorce, friendships, break-ups, crushes and pursuing your dreams. Jenna has built up a wall after her parents divorce and her breakup with fellow aspiring journalist Elliott (did anyone keep hear Elliott said in E.T.'s voice every time you read his name? Nope, just me, ok!) and that keeps people out including best friend Keiko, and even cute boy, aspiring Manga artist Rin. Determined to beat Elliott in a journalism competition, Jenna almost loses Rin for good when her hard-hitting investigative style clashes with his desires to keep his personal life and family private not matter how many questions Jenna asks. Will Jenna she open up to her parents and let them know just how much their divorce has affected her? Will she lose her friendship with Keiko? Will Elliott ever leave her alone? Will she let down her guard and let Rin in? Read this awesome MG novel and find out!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Bauer

    Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai is a remarkable book that feels familiar to any reader of any age. Debbi Michiko Florence does such a beautiful job of creating a world that transports readers into the scenes she writes, from PV Middle School to the diner Jenna visits after school every day. As I read the book, I could imagine the scenes at PV Middle taking place at my own middle school because it was so realistic. But my favorite thing about this book is how much I related to Jenna, from her friendshi Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai is a remarkable book that feels familiar to any reader of any age. Debbi Michiko Florence does such a beautiful job of creating a world that transports readers into the scenes she writes, from PV Middle School to the diner Jenna visits after school every day. As I read the book, I could imagine the scenes at PV Middle taking place at my own middle school because it was so realistic. But my favorite thing about this book is how much I related to Jenna, from her friendship anxieties to her diligence. This is partially because I'm close in age to her and remember having those stresses and anxieties in middle school (I did yearbook in middle school, similar to Jenna's newspaper club), but also because Florence wonderfully conveys those emotions. Jenna has such a distinct voice that carries throughout the novel and makes the whole book that much more captivating. And at a time like this, we all need a heartwarming book, a couple of show tunes, and a delicious milkshake!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    My biggest takeaway from this book was the food. I want the Fetch Fries and the Waitress milkshake! It sounded so good! By the end of this book, I was craving cheese fries and a milkshake even though I haven't really had cheese fries before, but the book made it sound SO good! This is why it is not a good idea to read books about food. The power of persuasion is too strong. While the diner has star power, the point of this story was not about the diner it was about Jenna and Rin. Jenna annoyed m My biggest takeaway from this book was the food. I want the Fetch Fries and the Waitress milkshake! It sounded so good! By the end of this book, I was craving cheese fries and a milkshake even though I haven't really had cheese fries before, but the book made it sound SO good! This is why it is not a good idea to read books about food. The power of persuasion is too strong. While the diner has star power, the point of this story was not about the diner it was about Jenna and Rin. Jenna annoyed me in some parts. I think part of it was how I read her lines. By the end of the book, I was more sympathetic toward her. There was a reveal that I was pretty sure was going to happen. The end was pretty cute. Verdict: What made this book shine was the food and the diner scenes. While this is designed for kids and maybe teenagers, I think this book could have used recipes. I want to make the strawberry milkshake from book and/or the cheese fries! I wished there was a book about the husband and wife who created the diner. Maybe an origin story? What about cozy mystery series?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Wang

    After experiencing her parents' divorce and being dumped by her boyfriend Elliott, Jenna Sakai is done with heartbreak. She keeps everyone at arm's length, even her best friend Keiko, who is busy with her own boyfriend anyway. About the only thing Jenna cares about is the school newspaper club, but even that isn't a safe haven for her because her ex Elliott is in the club, too. Soon, she finds herself competing against Elliott for a big journalism scholarship. When Jenna is asked to write outsid After experiencing her parents' divorce and being dumped by her boyfriend Elliott, Jenna Sakai is done with heartbreak. She keeps everyone at arm's length, even her best friend Keiko, who is busy with her own boyfriend anyway. About the only thing Jenna cares about is the school newspaper club, but even that isn't a safe haven for her because her ex Elliott is in the club, too. Soon, she finds herself competing against Elliott for a big journalism scholarship. When Jenna is asked to write outside her comfort zone for the competition, it all becomes too much. She discovers a neighborhood diner where she can hide out, but that doesn't stay a solitary refuge for long -- a boy named Rin refuses to budge from her table, which he claims is his. She just can't seem to get away from incredibly irritating boys! But with Rin, Jenna's journalistic curiosity is piqued and, against her better judgment, she starts to let her walls down and maybe feel a personal interest in him, too... I loved this book, maybe even more than the previous "Keep It Together, Keiko Carter," because Jenna's character resonated with me so strongly (but definitely read Keiko's story, too!). Tweens everywhere will identify with Jenna's heartache over her losses and putting up emotional barriers to protect her heart. They'll see, too, that sometimes the best way to move forward is to let someone in.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Namelessfox

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5 stars (hardcover) Not a bad read. Jenna was too prickly for too long. Took over half the book before she started to slowly calm down and eventually realize being a jerk wasn’t the way to deal with things. Jenna was lucky her friends stuck w her - honestly, if this were real life, I highly doubt anyone would have kept trying to reach out to her like they did in the novel. Since I didn’t read Keiko’s book before jumping into this, I only know Jenna from this book and she was just an unpleasant 3.5 stars (hardcover) Not a bad read. Jenna was too prickly for too long. Took over half the book before she started to slowly calm down and eventually realize being a jerk wasn’t the way to deal with things. Jenna was lucky her friends stuck w her - honestly, if this were real life, I highly doubt anyone would have kept trying to reach out to her like they did in the novel. Since I didn’t read Keiko’s book before jumping into this, I only know Jenna from this book and she was just an unpleasant person to read about haha. Happy, though, that things worked out for the better once Jenna started to change herself/be more honest. All in all, an okay read. I liked the Broadway show themed diner, and characters Rin and Keiko. I am interested in reading Keiko’s book - she was a good friend in this book and I’m curious to see her “origin” story :J

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Thom

    This fabulous companion book to Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, did not disappoint! Jenna is dealing with a breakup and is a firm believer that “heartbreak is for suckers.” She would rather avoid getting close to anyone else whether it be friends or boyfriends in order to avoid the inevitable pain and suffering. She also is learning to cope with her parents being divorced, her best friend, Keiko, being in love, and an annoying (although admittedly cute) but who keeps stealing her booth at here n This fabulous companion book to Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, did not disappoint! Jenna is dealing with a breakup and is a firm believer that “heartbreak is for suckers.” She would rather avoid getting close to anyone else whether it be friends or boyfriends in order to avoid the inevitable pain and suffering. She also is learning to cope with her parents being divorced, her best friend, Keiko, being in love, and an annoying (although admittedly cute) but who keeps stealing her booth at here newly discovered diner she has found where she can hide out and work on her entry for the scholarship essay she hopes to win. I loved Jenna and her journey towards the understanding that maybe heartbreak can be okay sometimes and even worth the risk if it means having people in your life who are there for you when you need them most.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Louise Tripp

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I give this two stars because, on Goodreads, that means "it was ok." It feels like a low number of stars, though, because it was a cute enough story. It's what I would say is a perfectly fine, light read. The protagonist, Jenna is a little hot-headed and competitive, making assumptions when she shouldn't, but she's young - this is a kids' book after all. Really cute things: the waitress and diner owner who references Broadway musicals a lot, the boy who draws Manga-inspired pictures of his crush I give this two stars because, on Goodreads, that means "it was ok." It feels like a low number of stars, though, because it was a cute enough story. It's what I would say is a perfectly fine, light read. The protagonist, Jenna is a little hot-headed and competitive, making assumptions when she shouldn't, but she's young - this is a kids' book after all. Really cute things: the waitress and diner owner who references Broadway musicals a lot, the boy who draws Manga-inspired pictures of his crush (Jenna). Less cute: Jenna's tendency to blow off her best friend; Jenna's ex-boyfriend, Elliot's ego; Jenna's inclination to jump to the worst (and most ridiculous) conclusion without checking in with people. Over all, I enjoyed it. It's not extraordinary, though. I didn't close the book and say "wow." But I do think that, as a gateway to YA romance, it's very...cute.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Jenna broke up with her boyfriend Elliot due to him always taking her credit, her parents have split up & her Dad moved away to Texas. She finds a amazing diner that is Broadway themed where she meets a boy named Rin. Jenna is writing a article for a scholarship about the donation & it involves Ron’s family. Jenna finally learns to let her feelings known about the divorce when her Dad moved back to be with her. Jenna realizes that the article isn’t worth doing especially after fighting with Rin. Jenna broke up with her boyfriend Elliot due to him always taking her credit, her parents have split up & her Dad moved away to Texas. She finds a amazing diner that is Broadway themed where she meets a boy named Rin. Jenna is writing a article for a scholarship about the donation & it involves Ron’s family. Jenna finally learns to let her feelings known about the divorce when her Dad moved back to be with her. Jenna realizes that the article isn’t worth doing especially after fighting with Rin. It was a great middle grade read about learning that you need to show your feelings to be your true self & not hold your heart up like a brick wall.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Adriana

    Just love the author’s engaging writing style. The story centers around Jenna who is in middle school and learning that her parents are people… flawed people. She’s also learning that being vulnerable is scary but also worth it when forming relationships. I think my favorite part is how the main character grows from beginning to end. I saw myself in Jenna Sekai for sure. I love (still) drawing kawaii characters, writing, and in middle school I was obsessed with being the best student and winning Just love the author’s engaging writing style. The story centers around Jenna who is in middle school and learning that her parents are people… flawed people. She’s also learning that being vulnerable is scary but also worth it when forming relationships. I think my favorite part is how the main character grows from beginning to end. I saw myself in Jenna Sekai for sure. I love (still) drawing kawaii characters, writing, and in middle school I was obsessed with being the best student and winning scholarships. But I had so much anger and resentment toward my divorced and misbehaving parents. I know kids will see themselves in Jenna’s story too.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    I love a good stand-alone companion novel and this one is great! It was so much fun to reconnect with Keiko from Keep it Together, Keiko Carter and get better acquainted with her best friend, Jenna Sakai! Jenna is such a relatable character, and readers will root for her as she gradually begins to rethink her “heartbreak is for suckers” motto and open up her heart. Debbi Michiko Florence is a master of tween romance, and middle schoolers are going to devour this book—and wish they could devour t I love a good stand-alone companion novel and this one is great! It was so much fun to reconnect with Keiko from Keep it Together, Keiko Carter and get better acquainted with her best friend, Jenna Sakai! Jenna is such a relatable character, and readers will root for her as she gradually begins to rethink her “heartbreak is for suckers” motto and open up her heart. Debbi Michiko Florence is a master of tween romance, and middle schoolers are going to devour this book—and wish they could devour the milkshakes and cheesy fries at the Broadway-themed diner that features prominently in Jenna’s story! A must-have for middle school collections.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Yapha

    Jenna was impacted more than she realized by her parents' divorce and how they handled discussing it with her. Their issues around money and blame and keeping their feelings to themselves can be seen in Jenna's reactions to her friends and are negatively affecting many aspects of her life. It was painful to watch her close herself off and make some bad choices. Thankfully things do work out better in the end. I'm glad her friends stuck by her. I found Jenna pretty unlikeable through most of the Jenna was impacted more than she realized by her parents' divorce and how they handled discussing it with her. Their issues around money and blame and keeping their feelings to themselves can be seen in Jenna's reactions to her friends and are negatively affecting many aspects of her life. It was painful to watch her close herself off and make some bad choices. Thankfully things do work out better in the end. I'm glad her friends stuck by her. I found Jenna pretty unlikeable through most of the book. For grades 4 & up. eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    Keep It Together, Keiko Carter was such an adorable and fun middle grade read that I had the chance to read last summer and even then, I felt like there was more to tell in the story especially for Keiko’s best friends. And so it was such exciting news when Debbi reached out to tell me that a companion novel was on the way that focused on Jenna’s story. Thank you to Debbi Michiko Florence and Scholastic Press for sending me a review copy. Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai follows Keiko’s story but with Keep It Together, Keiko Carter was such an adorable and fun middle grade read that I had the chance to read last summer and even then, I felt like there was more to tell in the story especially for Keiko’s best friends. And so it was such exciting news when Debbi reached out to tell me that a companion novel was on the way that focused on Jenna’s story. Thank you to Debbi Michiko Florence and Scholastic Press for sending me a review copy. Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai follows Keiko’s story but with Jenna as the new protagonist. As readers of the first novel may remember, Jenna’s friendship with Audrey went on the rocks after it was revealed that she and Elliott were involved. In this story, we start with Jenna and Elliott broken up and Jenna is doing all she can to avoid him, even conversations about him are not something that she is interested in despite Keiko’s best efforts. Jenna has trouble believing in relationships as she has seen the breakdown of her own parents’ marriage that resulted in a messy divorce. As Jenna navigates these complications in her life, she finds refuge in a Broadway-themed diner where the milkshakes are delicious and all orders are delivered with a talented mini serenade from the establishment’s owner/manager/waitress/cashier. Just as she settles into her new place of comfort, her world is thrown again when a boy from school, Rin Watanabe, shows up in her booth and refuses to leave. As the people around her refuse to give up on her, Jenna will have to figure out what it means to trust and let others into her life. As with Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, I finished Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai in one sitting. Debbi Michiko Florence has a knack for writing stories and characters that pull you in. With both Keiko and Jenna, I found the two young girls to be so flawed, so human, and so… young. And I think that’s the appeal of middle grade novels. The protagonists are not perfect - they are young people trying to figure things out and that’s what makes you root for them more. If you haven’t read Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, I would recommend that you start there before reading this companion novel as some of the friendships and relationships would make more sense and you’ll be able to truly enjoy both Keiko and Jenna’s stories in that order.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    Jenna broke up with her boyfriend over winter break, and is determined to avoid romance from now on--her parents' messy divorce just backs this up. This was pretty great--I loved Jenna and I desperately want to go to the Broadway themed diner! She's a great reporter and I love the whole club. Her ex really is someone full of red flags, which I'm so glad got highlighted. Her conversation with her dad was so great, and I wish there had been more resolution with her mom. Still, really fab book and Jenna broke up with her boyfriend over winter break, and is determined to avoid romance from now on--her parents' messy divorce just backs this up. This was pretty great--I loved Jenna and I desperately want to go to the Broadway themed diner! She's a great reporter and I love the whole club. Her ex really is someone full of red flags, which I'm so glad got highlighted. Her conversation with her dad was so great, and I wish there had been more resolution with her mom. Still, really fab book and will be super popular with our tweens.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristy Boyce

    Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai is my favorite type of MG book to read! Much like Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, Jenna is a sweet, fun, and romantic book about friendship and first loves. However, it is also delves into important topics like dealing with divorce and how to move on from a past relationship. I love Jenna's voice and all of the diner scenes. :) I also love seeing some cameos from Keiko! I'm already looking forward to reading it all over again!! Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai is my favorite type of MG book to read! Much like Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, Jenna is a sweet, fun, and romantic book about friendship and first loves. However, it is also delves into important topics like dealing with divorce and how to move on from a past relationship. I love Jenna's voice and all of the diner scenes. :) I also love seeing some cameos from Keiko! I'm already looking forward to reading it all over again!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Hottinger

    Jenna may have her defenses up with her relationship with her parents, her break up, and requirement to write from the heart, but can she play it cool and still find happiness? After a few milkshakes, fries, Rin, and reflection will she open her heart and mind to others? Love this companion novel to Keep it Together, Keiko Carter!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    I wish that I had a 13-year-old daughter or niece to share this book and Keep it Together Keiko Carter. I love how Debbi Michiko Florence totally "gets" what it's like to be a teenager with all the angst and emotion that goes with that. Highly recommend and keeping my fingers crossed that this might turn into a trilogy. I'd love to spend more time in the world of Jenna and her best friend, Keiko. I wish that I had a 13-year-old daughter or niece to share this book and Keep it Together Keiko Carter. I love how Debbi Michiko Florence totally "gets" what it's like to be a teenager with all the angst and emotion that goes with that. Highly recommend and keeping my fingers crossed that this might turn into a trilogy. I'd love to spend more time in the world of Jenna and her best friend, Keiko.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    For anyone who has read Keiko Carter, you'll want to get this companion book about her friend Jenna. I loved getting to know the characters better and many middle school students will find connections to Jenna and her struggles to deal with her family, her friends, and her goals. For anyone who has read Keiko Carter, you'll want to get this companion book about her friend Jenna. I loved getting to know the characters better and many middle school students will find connections to Jenna and her struggles to deal with her family, her friends, and her goals.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dara Yoder

    I loved this one! I loved it even more than the first book by this author and it features Keiko too! Sweet, but not too frilly, story of friendship, family, school, a little romance, and being a strong girl! Can’t wait to share it with my sixth graders! #bookposse

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jhoanna

    📚📚📚📚

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abby Stockett

    OH. MY. GOSH!!!!!!! This book is AMAZING 🤩!!! As amazing as the first!!! I think I like it BETTER somehow!!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anika Longheyer

    The book isn’t flipping finished!!!!!!FINISH THE FLIPPING BOOK!!!!!!!!!!FINISH IT!!!!!!!!!!!I NEED ANSWERS!!!!!!!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Val

    Link to my book talk: https://youtu.be/tEKSbaK5wmI Link to my book talk: https://youtu.be/tEKSbaK5wmI

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    💎 Middle grade gem alert! 💎 . . . Thanks to @scholasticinc for the ARC! . . . Book 24 for #30booksummer . . . ✅ amazing setting of a Broadway-themed diner!!! LOVE IT 🎭 ✅ tender story about learning to be vulnerable and honest with others ✅ divorce storyline that hums with authenticity ✅ exploration of the importance of journalistic integrity !! ✅ a splash of romance 💕 . . . I loved KEEP IT TOGETHER KEIKO CARTER so I was excited to spend some time with her best friend, Jenna Sakai! . . . #middleschoollibrarian #mid 💎 Middle grade gem alert! 💎 . . . Thanks to @scholasticinc for the ARC! . . . Book 24 for #30booksummer . . . ✅ amazing setting of a Broadway-themed diner!!! LOVE IT 🎭 ✅ tender story about learning to be vulnerable and honest with others ✅ divorce storyline that hums with authenticity ✅ exploration of the importance of journalistic integrity !! ✅ a splash of romance 💕 . . . I loved KEEP IT TOGETHER KEIKO CARTER so I was excited to spend some time with her best friend, Jenna Sakai! . . . #middleschoollibrarian #middleschoollibrary #library #librarian #futurereadylibs #iteachlibrary #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #librariesofinstagram #librariansofinstagram #librariesfollowlibraries #librarylife #librarianlife #schoollibrarian #middlegrade #middlegradebooks #iteach #librarylove #booksbooksbooks #amreading #bibliophile #schoollibrariansrock #bookreview #bookrecommendation #igreads #malibrary #msla #mediaspecialist . ID: Laura holds book against a white wall.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Becky

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