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.
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →