Eli Should Have Been The GOTY 2019.
It's been three years since Blaire Wilson debuted. While that fact is a bit shocking to me, considering 2019 was the last normal year before Covid came along and changed the world, it's the truth.
I read Blaire's books early, in mid-December 2018, when I got them from a bookstore in Pennsylvania. I was in Pennsylvania for a scoliosis treatment that turned out to be a scam. Oh well, at least I got Blaire's books early and visited the now-closed AG Hershey outlet like 4 or 5 times... anyways, onto the point of the post.
I remember reading Blaire's second book, Blaire Cooks Up A Plan, in my hotel room. I didn't exactly hate the first book, but Blaire was a bit of a bland character, considering her only problems were having a dairy sensitivity (which I can relate to, I do have a dairy allergy myself, but to me it's no big deal), being on devices all the time and planning a wedding. At the age of TEN YEARS OLD. I wouldn't trust my ten year old self to plan a wedding, and I shared the same sentiment when I was thirteen and read the books for the first time. But when I read the second book, I enjoyed it.
Not because of Blaire. Because of Blaire's new friend. The new boy at school. Eli Carr, who should have been GOTY 2019. (Well, a female version with the same personality. Eliza Carr?)
Obviously, Eli is very cool, so this is why I'm making this post. Eli is new to Blaire's school and is in her fifth-grade class. At first, Eli is a little shy and doesn't interact with people, and is only seen as a mysterious new kid who wears funny shirts, uses his tablet in class and is bullied on the bus. He isn't friendly to Blaire at first, but Blaire wants to connect with him, so she sits next to him at lunch. They connect through their love of online videos, but once the videos remind him of something that happened to him in the past, he just stops talking. But Blaire still invites him, as well as the whole class, to a sauce-making party for the food pantry at Pleasant View Farm, where she lives.
Eli records the making of the sauce and bonds with the little kids in attendance, but he spills and messes up some of the sauce because of his recordings, which irritates Blaire. However, when Eli shows the video to his class, Blaire realizes that he's actually a good filmmaker, and he explains to her that he used to make videos with his dad. He moved a lot for his dad's filmmaking job and recorded the town a lot, but his dad passed away and he misses him. Blaire and Eli then become friends, and Blaire decides to use the video to help the food pantry.
Compare that character arc to Blaire's. To me, that's way more compelling. Not just because I'm a filmmaker too, but because it just has more personal meaning to it, and the best stories always have some sort of personal meaning to a character's arc.
Also, we need a better filmmaking doll than Z. I like Z. She's cool, and I just reread her series, but I didn't like her second book because it was just Z messing things up on a film set and worrying about posting pictures and texting. That is NOT a committed filmmaker- that is just someone who wants to be one, but doesn't commit themselves. Filmmakers need not only creativity, but dedication, passion and love for their project. Even if it's just a video of the beach, there needs to be something there that drives a filmmaker to create.
Z didn't care- she just wanted to post on social media- while I've been working on the same thing for over 3 years because I just am dying to tell the story I deliriously created in 2019 to the whole world. Three years is overkill normally, but if you're a student with a big passion project, then it makes sense. Anyways, if the story focused on Eli, we'd finally get a story of a filmmaker with a goal and a reason to create- a true film doll.
In conclusion, Eli Carr should have been the Girl of the Year 2019. I rest my case.