Happy New Year everybody! As you all know, the celebration for the start of a new year definitely wouldn’t be complete without the new GOTY from American Girl!! And I have to say… this year did not disappoint.
We got the catalog over here a few days early and I absolutely fell in love with party-planning, animal-loving Blaire Wilson! My little sister got her two books for her birthday on January 7th and I immediately wanted to read them after her. (#noshame) I quickly got through both of them so I wanted to do a little review!
“Blaire” was written by Jennifer Castle with illustrations by Judit Mallol. I kinda geeked out about this when I heard, she’s one of my favorite artists, haha!
*contains minor spoilers*
Things I liked:
- Blaire’s food allergy. Oh my gosh, I was so happy when I heard about this on Instagram and even more excited when I read the books. Blaire finds out she has a dairy allergy, or lactose intolerance, early on in the book and struggles getting used to her new normal. Feeling awkward at her friend’s birthday party is something I totally relate to, having multiple food allergies, and it just made me so happy to know people felt the same way. My youngest sister Demi, who’s the same age as Blaire, said multiple times throughout the book “This is SO realistic!” because she related to Blaire so much. It made me so proud and happy that AG is including those who feel excluded and acknowledging them even when they feel out-of-place because they can’t eat the same way as everyone else.
- I really loved how close Blaire’s family was. A lot of stories from AG are of girls with separated families, which are definitely important to include, but I think stories with family values in them set great examples. I’ve really come to treasure my family more since my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer so reading about Blaire cooking with her mom, spending time with her brother and talking to her grandpa were really encouraging to read.
- Blaire and Thea’s friendship! Thea spilled the beans about Blaire’s dairy allergy early on in the book and they both pulled away from their friendship as the book progressed. They ended up talking things out near the end, sharing both sides of the story. I know the plot of having friends fight is a little overused but I think Jennifer Castle did it in a realistic way that it didn’t seem boring!
- The Bed and Breakfast – oh my goodness I think I need Blaire’s big family restaurant for my dolls now!! I loved the set before but the descriptive words and stories about the farm really made it real for me and I’m in love.
- Cat’s relationship with Blaire. It was so sweet to see Cat’s connection with Blaire even though Cat was 28 (I think?). Having a big sister role in the book was really special especially when Blaire helped with the proposal of Cat’s boyfriend and their wedding!
Thinks I disliked:
- Dash the goat was adorable in the books, but I’m a little disappointed they didn’t include him in Blaire’s collection! Maybe he’ll be added in a summer release?
- Blaire spent a LOT of time of her tablet and social media.. I’m not sure if this is the new norm but it felt unrealistic and a little inappropriate for the target age range.
- Blaire helps plan Cat’s wedding throughout the book and is put in charge of quite a few things, including the proposal, the wedding decor, and communicating with Cat’s mother-in-law… It seemed a little unrelatable, even to me as a 17-year-old. Blaire ends up getting quite stressed out, as you can imagine!
- The book moved a tad slow and I was a bit bored at times. But, I’m not the target age range, so.. *shrugs*
Additional comments by Demi:
“Umm.. it’s realistic? I dunno!”
Lol she’s so cute.
All in all, “Blaire” was a good read! I’m not sure I’d read it again, but I can tell my younger sisters will enjoy it multiple times! A solid 4 stars out of 5.
What’s your favorite item from Blaire Wilson’s collection? Let me know in the comments below!
– AG Doll Artist (Dara)