Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus
Series: Life of a Cactus #2
Author: Dusti Bowling
Narrator: Karissa Vacker
Published: September 17, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 21-25, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars
The sequel to the critically acclaimed Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus follows Aven Green as she confronts yet another challenge: high school. “High School. Two words that struck fear into the heart of every armless middle schooler I knew. Which was me. And like two people online.” Just as Aven starts to feel comfortable in Stagecoach Pass, with her friends and schoolmates accustomed to her lack of “armage,” everything changes once again. She’s about to begin high school . . . with 2,300 new kids to stare at her. And no matter how much Aven tries to play it cool, nothing prepares her for the reality. In a year filled with confusion, humiliation, fears, loss, and just maybe love, can Aven manage to stay true to herself?
Aven is back in Momentous Life and now she is starting high school… And it is not going how she wanted. Connor has moved 30 minutes away, so she doesn’t see him like she used to. Now her main friend is Zion (“from The Matrix, not the Bible”). Zion is overweight and heavily bullied because of it. Zion was a minor character in the first novel, and Connor was the focus with his Tourette’s Syndrome. Aven clicks well with Zion’s whole family, which includes his older brother Lando (Yes, from Star Wars. Their parents are total science fiction nerds and it has rubbed off on the boys).
High school brings some new challenges: a much bigger school with students who have not seen Aven before. Momentous Life shows how cruel kids can be to each other. Despite her challenges, Aven stays who she is. Aven meets a girl who is home schooled and works part time at Stagecoach Pass and they also become friends.
We also get more of Stagecoach Pass and Henry who is much older and dealing with dementia. We also get more of Josephine who lives in a retirement community and she is just an older version of Aven! You can’t help but love Josephine!
After loving Insignificant Events, I had to read this second novel in the series. This was also a #Diverseathon2021 read for the month of July (the prompt is a main character with a physical or cognitive disability). I listened to the audiobook version as I did with the first and it was also narrated by Karissa Vacker, who did a wonderful job again. I did miss Connor as we did not get as much with him due to his move. I really enjoyed these two novels and would love to see more of Aven as she grows up: Going to college, getting a job, etc. I can see that once Aven matures into an adult that she will be a very confident woman despite her lack of arms. Aven is very much a character that kids can look up to.
Despite being freshmen in high school now, there is still a bit of immaturity in the novel that revolves around them being adolescents, but this novel is definitely appropriate for middle schoolers. This is definitely a book series for children who have a disability that shows them they are still 100% a person.
Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus is recommended!
July’s host is Kesara at readswithkesara over at Instagram. She is having a giveaway of One book valuing up to $20 from the Book Depository or Amazon (for US based winner) Be sure to check out her Instagram for full details on that giveaway.
Be sure to check out her YouTube Channel!