Anything But Groovy by Amanda Lauer
Morgan is looking forward to junior high school and all the adventures it holds in store for her. But after a collision on the volleyball court, she wakes up on the first day of school trapped inside her mom’s teenage body circa1974. It doesn’t take long for Morgan to discover that living life as a seventh-grader in the ‘70s and dealing with everything going on in her mom’s life back then — from uncool parents, to annoying older brothers, balancing friendships, and ultimately doing what she can to survive bullying at the hands of the school’s biggest jock — is anything but groovy.
Anything but Groovy takes us all back to better times. And for me that was worth the read alone. Every page resonated with me. Amanda Lauer has done an amazing job of creating a time that many lived through. So wonderfully done that you felt as if you were there. I can’t say enough about this story. So wonderful. So unique. By the end, I didn’t want to come back to 2020. My highest praise! Cary Solomon, writer/director/producer of “Unplanned,” The Abby Johnson story, God’s Not Dead and other award-winning films
I’ve been a fan of author Amanda Lauer for quite a while. Her captivating writing completely immersed me in the Civil War through her Heaven Intended series. So, I was thrilled to discover she had a new novel in the works. This time Lauer brings her writing talents to a more contemporary story. Anything But Groovy is a coming of age novel with touches of history and an intriguing Freaky Friday type of storyline. Lauer expertly captures the details of the 70s in a story that modern teens will thoroughly enjoy as well. No matter what era we grow up in, there are certain issues that all teens must deal with—families, friendships, and bullying. While technology and circumstances change, relationship fundamentals stay the same. I thought this glimpse into a parent’s childhood was such a clever way to explore the walking-a-mile-in-another’s-shoes theme. This novel would make a fabulous book for mothers and daughters to enjoy together because it is simply groovy. Leslea Wahl, author of the award-winning teen novel The Perfect Blindside.
Morgan, our main character, finds herself in a not-so-ordinary fish-out-of-water situation and has to fight her way through 7th grade in the ‘70s. Though lighthearted and humorous most of the times, this story also focuses on real problems like bullying. A must read for teenagers; friendship, family life and the dazzling 70s, what else could you wish for? Sophie Habsburg-Lothringen
If you were a Brady Bunch fan, you ought to give this book to your kids. An accidental bounce through time has the ’70s groove being witnessed by a ’20s kid. A fun time-warp story that reveals what we old folks lived through in our youth. Michelle Buckman, award-winning author
Head throbbing, I placed my phone face down on the nightstand and turned off the lamp. I must have fallen asleep immediately because I never even heard Mom and Dad come upstairs to tuck Brock and Brayden into bed.
The first thing that came to mind when I woke up in the morning was the collision the night before. Eyes still closed; I tentatively patted my skull front to back. The only thing out of place was my hair, which felt kind of weird. No goose egg, though, thank goodness. As long as I could pull off a genuine smile, school pictures should be all right.
One last stretch and my eyes popped open. Peering at the plastered ceiling overhead, I considered the upcoming day. It was cool starting seventh grade and finally being in middle school. Even if we were in the same building that we’d been in since Pre-K, we were now upperclassmen. Sweet!
Hopefully, I’d have a better experience than it sounded like Mom had. There were some good things going for it already. I still felt like I had a decent chance to make the volleyball team. At school, every seventh-grader was going to be issued a new tablet, and, what us girls were most looking forward to, we would now be allowed to slow dance with boys at the socials.
Taking a deep breath in anticipation, I waited for my phone to play my go-to wake-up song. Nothing. Must have been earlier than I thought. After a good stretch, I rolled over.
My hand patted the top of the nightstand. The phone was gone. Are you kidding me? Here I thought Mom and me had such a great bonding experience last night, and now she goes and swipes my phone? She probably took it downstairs and put it on the kitchen countertop. It was part of her “tough love” social media policy that she’d heard about on some Christian radio station. Since she and Dad were paying for the device, they felt like they could monitor my phone usage. In other words, spy on me.
How was I supposed to be a “responsible young lady” and get myself up for school if I didn’t have my phone alarm? I glanced back at my nightstand. My eyes opened wider. Even without my glasses, I spotted something that hadn’t been there when I went to bed.
An alarm clock. An old-fashioned one like Grandma had with a round face, black numbers, four gold feet, two bells on top and a loud ticker. Was this Mom’s idea of a joke?
A second later, it went off. Holy crap, it was loud enough to wake the dead. I rolled over and grabbed it. The clock vibrated in my hand as I tried to figure out how to turn the stupid thing off. Jamming the little peg into its back, the noise finally stopped.
Heart racing, I set the offending thing down and reached for my glasses. Picking them up, it didn’t take more than a second to realize that they weren’t mine. These weren’t the designer frames that I’d just gotten from the one-hour glasses place. This pair was brown plastic with six-sided lenses. Something like the hipsters were wearing. Like adult hipsters, not middle schoolers. Out of curiosity, I put them on. Surprisingly, they seemed to be close to my own prescription.
Was this supposed to be a back-to-school joke? Mom was probably downstairs laughing her rear-end off right now. I swung my legs out of bed. Glancing around the room with crystal-clear vision, the breath caught in my throat.
There was definitely something weird going on. Instead of taupe-colored walls, my Pottery Barn comforter, cream-colored window blinds and hardwood floors, I saw yellow walls, a white pull-down window shade, frilly eyelet curtains, an orange chenille bedspread and lime-green wall-to-wall shag carpeting. It looked like a scene from The Spy Who Shagged Me.
I scooted off the bed and slowly turned in a circle to take in the whole room. A poster hung above my bed. The picture showed some teenage guy. With the nerdy glasses, I read the signature at the top. “I love you, David.” Who the heck was David? Peering closer, his face looked familiar. Was this the actor from The Partridge Family show that was on the classic TV network?
Someone was obviously trying to freak me out. Stepping over to the closet, I warily cracked open the door to see if that space was as messed up as the rest of my room.
Nothing jumped out at me, but when I opened the door all the way, I could see my reflection in the full-length mirror. My jaw dropped, and my eyes bugged out.
This was not what I was wearing when I went to bed last night. Instead of my yoga pants and volleyball camp t-shirt, I was dressed in a nightgown. I tilted my chin up to see my whole reflection. My hair, what the heck? I stepped closer to the mirror and pulled the cord dangling overhead to turn on the light fixture.
“Oh… my… gosh.” I must have hit my head a lot harder than I thought.