Cover image for So done
So done
1st ed.
Physical Description:
296 pages ; 22 cm.
When best friends Metai and Jamila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and looming auditions for a potentially life-changing new talented-and-gifted program. --


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available

On Order



When best friends Tai and Mila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and the looming dance auditions for a new talented-and-gifted program.

Fans of Renée Watson's Piecing Me Together will love this memorable story about a complex friendship between two very different African American girls--and the importance of speaking up.

Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers, having grown up across the street from each other in Pirates Cove, a low-income housing project. As summer comes to an end, Tai can't wait for Mila to return from spending a month with her aunt in the suburbs. But both girls are grappling with secrets, and when Mila returns she's more focused on her upcoming dance auditions than hanging out with Tai.

Paula Chase explores complex issues that affect many young teens, and So Done offers a powerful message about speaking up. Full of ballet, basketball, family, and daily life in Pirates Cove, this memorable novel is for fans of Ali Benjamin's The Thing About Jellyfish and Jason Reynolds's Ghost.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-In this story set during the last few weeks of summer between seventh and eighth grade in the housing project of Pirate's Cove, TX, themes of friendship, trust, loyalty, and family are examined with a sharp eye. Tai cannot wait until her best friend Bean gets back from "the woods" where she's been staying with her aunt. Life in the Cove isn't the same without her. When Bean comes back, she seems different. She wants to be called Jamila or Mila, not Bean, even by Tai. She seems distant and doesn't want to come over to Tai's house anymore. Meanwhile, the big news in the Cove is that auditions for a new talented-and-gifted dance program are being held, but Tai isn't as excited about the auditions as her friends. Characterization is nuanced and skillfully layered, especially in the depiction of the relationships between the girls, their caregivers, and their circle of friends. Chase gives hints as to why Mila is so uncomfortable in Tai's home but takes her time with the reveal. Readers, and eventually Tai, learn that Tai's father was verbally and physically inappropriate with Mila. Tai struggles with this knowledge, her silence and complacency, and how to repair her relationship with Mila. VERDICT A pitch-perfect look at changing adolescent relationships and resilience.-Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Growing up together in a housing project, 13-year-olds Tai and Mila are longtime best friends, but they couldn't be more opposite. Sassy Tai thrives on the neighborhood's energy, while quiet, reserved Mila can't wait to get out. Their differences increase after Mila spends the summer in the suburbs with her aunt and older sister; there, she feels free, unburdened of a horrible secret that makes her afraid to go to Tai's house. When she returns home, Tai senses that something in Mila has changed, and it causes a rift-it seems that the only things that unite them now are their love of dance and the upcoming audition for a program designed for fine arts students. Through successfully rendered dialogue, Chase (the Del Rio Bay Clique series) vividly conjures the triumphs, tensions, and worries percolating in the girls' low-income neighborhood. Tai's exuberance forms an effective foil to Mila's internal turmoil, and the building anticipation about who will be chosen for the program and whether Mila will divulge her secret will keep readers turning pages. Ages 8-12. Agent: Jennifer Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Growing up in the Pirates Cove low-income housing project, thirteen-year-old best friends Jamila Mila Phillips and Metai Tai Johnson have always known that their best bet was to trust each other. Its a shock to Tai when Mila returns home from a summer living with her aunt in the suburbs changed somehow. Shedding her childhood nickname (Bean) and reluctant to go anywhere with Tai--especially to the house where Tai lives with her grandmother and her useless, always high father--Mila seems now to care only about auditioning for a new talented and gifted arts program. Both girls are accomplished dancers, but Tai is skeptical; programs to help kids like her have come and gone before, with little impact. Besides, Tai has learned not to trust anything or anyone that might hurt her, her father included. Tais not the only one whos been hurt, and eventually Mila reveals the secret shes been keeping for 105 days, 36 hours, and 10 minutes. The protagonists tell their stories in memorable voices that ring true to their characters. Because chapters alternate between the two friends points of view, readers are never compelled to pick a side; and while they have diametrically opposed personalities, both Mila and Tai are young women readers will root for. eboni njoku (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Metai Johnson and Jamila Phillips have been inseparable since they were toddlers, but now the pressures of hard secrets and new friends threaten to sever their friendship in the wake of a summer apart. The chapters alternate between the perspectives of Mila and Tai, allowing each distinctive character an authentic and complex voice as they navigate difficult issues facing many American preteens. Mila (also known as Bean, but she'd just as soon not be) is just returning from a summer at Aunt Jacq's in The Woods, away from her less-affluent neighborhood, the Cove. Tai can't wait to see her, especially as she's grown close with her crush, Roland, and needs her best friend to share the rush. Yet as they reunite, both friends begin to realize that something is tangibly differentand the roots of this difference may be in an uncomfortable incident that took place the previous April at Tai's. The emerging conflict will surely come to a head as they both prepare for the high-stakes audition for the local talented-and-gifted arts program, where they hope to continue to develop themselves as dancers and to stay away from the dangerous pull of street life. The author weaves in a keen sense of black youth culture, including emoji-filled text messages, fly hairstyles, and beloved nicknames that won't go away, while powerful, flowing use of African-American Vernacular English gives the novel warmth, spirit, and familiarity.Chase's middle-grade debut dazzles in its exploration of the complicated lives of two very different young black girls in language that will meet its primary audience of black girl readers in their hearts. (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Tai Johnson is looking forward to her friend coming home after a summer away, but Jamila Philips' return isn't what Tai expected. The two African American girls have lived across from each other in their low-income housing project since they were toddlers, but now they seem to be growing apart. Both girls are hiding secrets that slowly bubble to the surface as they navigate friendship, family, and growing up. Chase delivers an honest coming-of-age tale with two different girls dealing with real issues, crushes, and finding themselves. The dual-perspective narrative tackles serious subjects through an adolescent lens. Chase pulls no punches when it comes to emotional honesty, and her characters are easy to connect with. Dance and basketball serve as catalysts for what brings the girls back together, but also allow them a chance to find their own voices. As they work towards a future, they face real struggles and have to determine how to speak out for each other. This is a must-read coming-of-age story about friendship and finding a voice.--Elizabeth Konkel Copyright 2018 Booklist