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

Amazon | Goodreads

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

Amazon | Goodreads

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

Review: Running Lean by Diana L Sharples

Running Lean
Diana L. Sharples
HarperCollins/Blink
Published August 6, 2013

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Haunted by a cruel playground song, Stacey is determined never to be fat again. With her best friend Zoe, she embarks on a rigid diet, rejecting the high-calorie, deep-fried southern dishes her family seems to thrive on. But just when Stacey has it all under control, a fainting spell alerts her boyfriend Calvin that things aren’t as well-ordered as they seem. Stacey brushes off the event as “female problems” and hopes Calvin will just forget it.

Calvin just wants Stacey to be okay, and he’s willing to pay just about any price to make that so. He endeavors to support her, but his own … Continue reading

Review: It’s Complicated by Laura L. Smith

It’s Complicated
Laura L. Smith
Playlist Fiction
Published March 26, 2013

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When Claire meets a girl looking for a third and fourth college roommate, she takes a chance and accepts. Sharing a room with Hannah and her friends will be awesome. Hannah is bubbly and bright. Palmer, Hannah’s bestie is looking for friends to fill the gap that will be left when she moves away from her long-time boyfriend. Despite her excitement about being on the college soccer team, Kat is thrilled at the possibility of friends off the field. But just as roomie preparations are finally in place, the unthinkable happens, and one of the girls is raped. How can she face her … Continue reading

Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Dutton Books
Published January 10, 2012

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Sixteen-year-old Hazel has lived the roller coaster ride of a terminal cancer diagnosis for the last three years. Now, each breath comes with a price, and she cannot go anywhere without a small portable oxygen tank in tow. Meds prevent the tumors from growing, for now.

At a weekly support group, she listens to tales of other teens fiercely battling cancer. Listens but remains apart, until the unexpected entrance of Augustus Waters.

Augustus draws Hazel out of her self-imposed seclusion with his unflappable visionary nature. He is in many ways the opposite of the quiet, brooding Hazel, … Continue reading

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