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

Review: Attitude by Robin Stevenson

Attitude
Robin Stevenson
Orca Book Publishing
Published October 1, 2013

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Fourteen-year-old Cassandra travels from her home in Australia to a highly competitive summer ballet program. At first Cassie tries to befriend girls who’ve been in the program for years, but it soon becomes clear that Melissa and her pals don’t stop at dancing your best in order to win. When Cassie gets blamed for a prank she didn’t commit, it becomes clear the girls mean to get her disqualified from an important audition. Cassie refuses to back down, though, and soon learns bigger lessons than dance technique.

Cassandra battles homesickness and bullying, making her an extremely relatable character. As a talented young ballerina, she … Continue reading

Review: Cut the Lights by Karen Krossing

Cut the Lights
Karen Krossing
Orca Book Publishing
Published October 1, 2013

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Young first-time director Briar can’t wait to put her ideas onto a real stage. When she is chosen for a real chance to direct a student-written one act play, she soars. But working with real live actors proves to be more difficult than Briar imagined, and she’s forced to navigate everything her crew throws at her, from absence to bold-faced narcissism to outright boredom. With the date of the performances just a few days away, Briar is desperate to pull her disaster of a show together. Just as she begins to turn things around, disaster strikes, fragmenting the cast and leaving her without a lead. What now? Faced with … Continue reading

Review: It’s Over by Laura L. Smith

It’s Over
Laura L. Smith
Playlist Fiction
Published April 14, 2013

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Tragedy greets Kat when she arrives home from college for fall break. Though her three roomies band together in support, Kat can barely find the strength to move through the motions of her life. Claire, still reeling from her own injuries of heart, seems to be the only one who can reach Kat. As Thanksgiving draws closer, each girl faces a shift in an important relationship, and as Claire suggested, each attempts to discover something to be thankful for amidst the rubble that remains. Palmer fields not-so-subtle comments on her waistline from her mother and expertly blocks her boyfriend’s attempts for sex. But … Continue reading

Review: Canary by Rachele Alpine

Canary
Rachele Alpine
Medallion Press
Published

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Sixteen year-old Kate still reels from the recent loss of her mother. Now she and her brother Brett communicate with their emotionally-absent father through a series of post-it notes. When Dad lands a new job as basketball coach at a ritzy private school, he opts to transfer both kids to the new school.

Kate, determined to adjust and desperate to reconnect with her father, begins attending basketball practices and cheering from the stands. That’s when she meets Jack, a gorgeous and popular star player and boyfriend of any girl’s dreams. But the thrill of being Jack’s girlfriend soon loses its shine when she discovers several unsavory habits of … Continue reading

Review: Perfect Glass by Laura Anderson Kurk

Perfect Glass
Laura Anderson Kurk
Playlist Fiction
Published June 1, 2013

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Henry begins his year-long trip to Nicaragua, leaving Meg behind in Chapin to finish her senior year. Henry faces the challenges of assembling a new building for his sister and brother-in-law’s orphan home in a country with limited supplies and deep distrust toward Americans. Meg meanwhile finds herself the center of affection for the new and fascinating Quinn O’Neill and the unlikely companion to a feisty elderly woman wielding a shotgun.

Meg wants desperately to secure admission to the University of Wyoming, so she and Henry can stay together through college and she can pursue a degree through the writing program there. Quinn … Continue reading

Review: White Lines by Jennifer Banash

White Lines
Jennifer Banash
G P Putnam’s Sons
Published April 4, 2013

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Seventeen-year-old Cat slogs through school days, waiting for nighttime, when the flashing lights and pulsing music of New York’s hottest clubs to bring her to life. Waiting to float away on the little white lines. What started as a dream, an unending party, twists into something more sinister. Cat can feel her life rocketing out of control, but she feels powerless to stop it. As pressure from her boss and her abusive mother pile on top of her, Cat wants to retreat further into the haze of anonymity in the club scene. All that holds her back is the mysterious boy who … Continue reading

Review: The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill

The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet
Stephanie Morrill
Playlist Fiction
Published October 13, 2013

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The day of Ellie’s book debut draws near, and the pressure is on. On top of school and family commitments, Ellie’s editor presses for detailed revisions. Instead of support and cheerleading, Ellie’s best writing buddy has gone AWOL, and her boyfriend Chase doesn’t seem to understand how much work writing can be or how important it is to Ellie.

Tension between Ellie and Chase only rises as he pushes her to spend more time with his friends and their short-term girlfriends. While Ellie believes in the goodness of Chase’s heart and his ability to succeed, he only sees his tarnished reputation. He expects Ellie to bail … Continue reading

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