Book Review: Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen

Now, normally, The Bookshelf Muse isn’t about reviewing books. But we ARE all about helping other writers, and when I heard that my friend Donna’s newest book was soon to be released, I begged her for a sneaky-peaky. And I’m so glad I did because it’s definitely worth blogging about:

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen

Blurb: Olivia Bean knows trivia. She watches Jeopardy! every night and usually beats at least one of the contestants. If she were better at geography, she would try out for the show’s kids’ week. Not only could she win bundles of money, she’d get to go to the taping in California, where her dad, who left two years ago and who Olivia misses like crazy, lives with his new family.


One day Olivia’s friend-turned-nemesis, Tucker, offers to help her bulk up her geography knowledge. Before Olivia knows it, she’s getting help from all sorts of unexpected sources: her almost-stepdad, superannoying Neil; her genius little brother, Charlie; even her stressed-out mom. Soon she has breezed through the audition rounds and is headed for Hollywood! But will the one person she wants to impress more than anyone else show up to support her?

Now, I don’t read a lot of middle grade, and I hardly ever read contemporary. But I. Loved. This. Book. Donna has a gift for creating quirky but likable characters that everyone can relate to, and Olivia Bean is no exception. This brainy heroine is in middle school hell, working her way through a new (and awkward) family dynamic, changing friendships, and the weirdness of 7th-grade boys. Her trials are believable and contemporary, but still unique–how many kids dream of winning Jeopardy!? And right up to the end, I didn’t know how it would all wrap up. I don’t have much patience with predicability in fiction, so I really appreciated Donna’s superb storytelling that kept me involved to the very end.

This book will be available for purchase on March 12th, but you can pre-order at Amazon, put it on your To-Read shelf at Goodreads, or head over to Donna’s blog to read about her and all of her excellent books.

Congrats, Donna! You are a wonderful and talented human being and I wish you huge success!


Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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15 Responses to Book Review: Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen

  1. Barb says:

    Sounds like fun! I’ll look for it.

  2. First of all, what a cool cover! Congrats to Donna, I hope she has a lot of success.

  3. This book sounds cool. I like MG books.

  4. Jen Swanson says:

    I have loved Donna’s two other books and I expect to do the same with this one. Can’t WAIT to receive my copy!!

  5. Olivia is going on my TBP list. 🙂 Great review!

  6. Sounds like an awesome book. Thanks for sharing your review of it.

  7. Yowza! Thank you so much for this generous review and for the lovely comments.

  8. Beth says:

    This book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the review!

  9. Marcia says:

    Totally looking forward to this one. I loved “12 3/4” and everything’s appealing here — the title, the cover, the Jeopardy, the promise of humor.

  10. Yay! This one is already on my wish list! 🙂

  11. Z says:

    If nothing else, you’re post has made me anxious to read this new book–it sounds darling and fun 🙂 Thanks for sharing, and congrats to Donna on getting it published!

  12. Sounds like a great book! I’ll definitely pick up a copy. Congrats to the uber-talented Donna!


  13. Sounds like a good book and I like that it’s not all about romance but something much deeper.

  14. This sounds a bit sad, but also totally adorable, which is like most of the best middle grade.

  15. Sounds totally awesome, and I am now following her blog too 🙂

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