Review: Tessa by Melissa Wiltrout

Tessa
Melissa Wiltrout
Life Sentence Publishing
Published September 3, 2013

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Fifteen year-old runaway Tessa Minor is forced to return home after being caught shoplifting some food from a grocery store. She dreads the moment she has to face her father again, knowing he’ll make her pay for every hour she’s been on her own. She wakes in the back yard shed at home, battered and bruised from her father’s punishment. When she’s finally able to return to school, Tess dodges questions from her friends but can’t help feeling curious about the new girl, Heather, who speaks openly about her faith and is warm and kind to Tessa. In the midst of a violent altercation … Continue reading

Review: There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones

There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. JonesThere You’ll Find Me
Jenny B. Jones
Thomas Nelson
Published October 3, 2011

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Embattled by grief over her brother’s murder, eighteen year-old Finley Sinclaire embarks on a journey, hoping to encounter the God he so powerfully sensed in the beautiful Irish countryside. Though God seems to elude her, she can’t seem to escape the attentions of teen heart-throb and actor Beckett Rush. With mounting pressure to perfect her audition composition for the New York Conservatory, win over her assigned adopted grouch – er, grandmother – and avoid being caught in the web of girls falling for Beckett, Finley’s life spirals out of her control. Only an … Continue reading

Review: The Four Seasons of Patrick by Susan Hughes

The Four Seasons of Patrick
Susan Hughes
Red Deer Press
Published March 15, 2014

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Nine year-old Patrick faces troubling changes in his home. Since his mom’s death, Patrick, his brother Trevor and his dad have been on their own. But now Dad’s friend Linda and her pesky daughter Claire keep coming to visit. Worse still, Patrick learns that Dad is going to marry Linda, and she and Claire are moving into the house with Patrick.

Frustrated and unsure, Patrick retreats, spending time away from the family with his best friend. Together they build a treehouse, a safe place to hide away from Claire the pest. But before long, Patrick suspects that Claire isn’t happy … Continue reading

Review: Me Since You by Laura Weiss

Me Since You
Laura Weiss
MTV Books
Published February 18, 2014

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It’s not easy being a police officer’s daughter. For Rowan, it means getting caught just about every time she tries have a little risky fun with her friends. Being busted yet again lands Rowan in her room, cornered by her father and his lectures about appropriate teen behavior. His being home means he is closest when a terrible call for help comes in. A call that changes everything.

Sadness. Cruelty. These are lessons Rowan learns. Grief and misery stalk her family, terrorizing them. The only upside to the whole mess is that it brings Eli into her life. But Eli’s no stranger to … Continue reading

Review: Victoria by Silvana Goldemberg

Victoria
Silvana Goldemberg
(translated by Emilie Smith)
Tradewinds Books
Published February 15, 2014

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While grief over her mother’s death is still fresh, fourteen year-old Victoria and her two young twin brothers move in with their aunt. Victoria is determined to make the best of things, but when her aunt’s boyfriend attacks her, Victoria fights him off and runs. She knows she will not be able to go home.

As a precocious girl, she quickly finds friends on the street. She washes windshields and sells flowers for a few coins here and there. She knows she must return to school if she is to have any chance at a good … Continue reading

Review: The Tyrant’s Daughter by J. C. Carleson

The Tyrant's DaughterThe Tyrant’s Daughter
J. C. Carleson
Alfred A Knopf/Random House Children’s Books
Published February 11, 2014

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When her father is assassinated, fifteen year-old Laila, her mother and younger brother escape their tumultuous homeland to America. As Laila explores her new freedoms, she learns that what she grew up believing about her father – that he was a king and her family royalty – is not how the rest of the world saw his rule. The ugly words – dictator, tyrant – slam into her, turning her past upside down. She watches helplessly from across the world as her uncle continues the regime of violence and destruction.

Laila joins a school for the first time … Continue reading

Ten Books I Can’t Wait to Read

OutcastsOutcasts by Jill Williamson

Release date: 1/7/14

Three brothers and a young girl fight for survival within the towering walls of the Safe Lands. Despite its name, the city is ravaged with disease and infested with corruption. Each brother follows a mission: to find a cure for the sick; to free the captives; to take down the Safe Lands in a rebellion.

The second in her Safe Lands series, Outcasts is quickly earning a reputation as an intense story set in a captivating world. As a fan of Williamson’s fantasy series, Blood of Kings, I’ve been eager to get lost in another story by this worthy author.

The Captive MaidenThe Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Release date: 11/9/13

Lonely Gisela spends her … Continue reading

Review: Paper Hearts by S. R. Savell

Paper Hearts by S. R. SavellPaper Hearts
S. R. Savell
Medallion Press
Published April 15, 2014

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Seventeen year-old Michelle Pearce is barely scraping by. Her grades plummet. The bullying she endures at school only escalates. Even the perky high school counselor seems a bit over her head with Michelle and the fury penned inside her.

Enter Nate. He’s just about the last thing Michelle wants hanging around the gas station she works. Impossibly tall and somber, Nate is just too nice to dislike. She tries. Fails.

They begin working together and at first out of boredom, Michelle pries into Nate’s life. She finds more sadness and more compassion than she could have imagined. … Continue reading

Review: Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley

Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole QuigleyLike Moonlight at Low Tide
Nicole Quigley
Zondervan
Published September 3, 2013

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The last place sixteen year-old Melissa Keiser wants to return to is Anna Maria Island. The echo of laughter and cruel taunts still haunt Missy, even after four years. Her best friend Julie insists that things will be different now, but Missy is afraid to believe her. Until popular Sam King begins to act as though Missy is completely irresistible. She struggles to understand Sam’s desire for her and his friend’s weird overprotective behavior toward her. Josh, it seems, won’t leave Missy alone to make her own mistakes. But when Missy pursues him, he … Continue reading

Review: Edna in the Desert by Maddy Lederman

Edna in the Desert
Maddy Lederman
eLectio Publishing
Published September 9, 2013

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Thirteen year-old Edna is out of control, and her wealthy, indulged parents are out of ideas for how to handle her. As a last-ditch effort to reform their daughter, Edna’s parents drop her off at an isolated cabin in the desert with only her stoic grandmother and Vietnam veteran grandfather for company. Furious, Edna pulls out all her most manipulative, most challenging behaviors, but this time they have no effect. She is left with no choice but to survive the next two months with her grandparents, zero technology and a never-ending chore list. Her feelings about the desert change when she meets … Continue reading

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