I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
This one comes closer than Just as Long as We're Together to the Judy Blume I remember.
Rachel Robinson is the tallest girl in her class, a gifted student taking advance classes, on the debate team and an aspiring musician. Her mom's a trial lawyer who has just been appointed a judge, and her father is a lawyer-turned-teacher. She's the youngest of three and a very serious girl who compulsively cleans her room, her closet and her drawers when she's stressed.
To those around her she's extremely competent and intelligent, so naturally she's offered places in special programs: social, academic, theatrical and her friends want her to run for class president.
Judy Blume has perfectly captured the duck-on-the-pond teen: calm, cool and collected on the surface but underneath a boiling, churning, furious paddling to keep it all together. Her family life is far from tranquil and the worse things get at home, the harder she tries to control her immediate surroundings.
If this book were written today, there'd naturally be a semi-catastrophic climax to the story; something allowing Rachel to shatter and put herself back together into a healthier, better adjusted self. But that's not real life and Blume does real life, even if it makes for slightly less exciting reading. There are small, pivotal moments throughout the story; tiny releases of pressure here and there, that aren't magical fixes for anything. Rachel moves along, grows up, discovers that she continues to wake up each morning and the world continues to turn.
If Blume did anything for her readers it was sharing with them the knowledge that they aren't alone in their experiences, their feelings, or their angst. She may not do riveting yarns, but she does comfort better than anyone.