Review: I am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff

I Am the Weapon by Allen ZadoffI Am the Weapon
Allen Zadoff
Little, Brown and Company
Published May 13, 2014

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You will think he’s your best friend. Then, when tragedy strikes someone close to you, he’ll disappear, fade into memory.

Since he was 12, he’s been in the Program. He moves from place to place, from one assignment to another, befriending someone close to his target and then quietly completing his mission: assassination.

But the latest mission is different. Memories swell to the surface of his mind and the daughter of his target sees him too clearly. Instead of honing in for the kill, he … Continue reading

Review: Seekers of the Lost Boy by Taryn Hayes

Seekers of the Lost Boy by Taryn HaynesSeekers of the Lost Boy
Taryn Hayes
Maledi
Published May 3, 2013

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A light at the water’s edge prompts twelve year-old Simon to leave his family and return to the shore one last time. There he finds a bottle containing a message that will send his family on an incredible quest. The author of the message, a young boy, simply asks: Who is God and does he care about me?

As Simon’s family discusses their own answers, he can’t help wanting to communicate with this boy who asked the question so many years ago. With their father’s permission, … Continue reading

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. LockhartWe Were Liars
E. Lockhart
Delacorte Press
Published May 13, 2014

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Since she was a little girl, Cadence has been spending summers with her Sinclaire cousins and family friend on a private island. In the infamous, wealthy Sinclaire family, emotions must be kept in check. Addictions and criminal behavior are not allowed. But the summer after Cadence’s grandmother passes away, her perfect family falls into turmoil, and Cadence leaves the island with a mysterious head injury she can’t remember receiving.

When Cadence begs to return to the island to be with her family again, her mother relents. Still no one will discuss Cadence’s injury with her, and she is forced … Continue reading

Review: Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

Torn Away by Jennifer BrownTorn Away
Jennifer Brown
Little, Brown and Company
Published May 6, 2014

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Fifteen year-old Jersey lives an annoyingly ordinary life, starting dinners for her working mother and dodging invitations to dance with her five year-old sister. All that changes when a fearsome storm spawns a deadly tornado that rips through Jersey’s life, leaving only wreckage in its wake.

Jersey survives the storm, but its aftermath sends her reeling. She’s lost everything. As she bounces from relative to relative, still shell-shocked by the memories of her home literally crumbling around her and swallowed by a powerful grief. Only a connection with another grieving family member … Continue reading

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

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