Review: Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin

tell-me-something-realTell Me Something Real
Calla Devlin
Simon & Schuster / Atheneum

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Her mother’s cancer dominates Vanessa’s life. Alternative treatments in Mexico are the only hope for her mom, whose cancer is terminal. While Vanessa tries to anticipate her mother’s every need and keep her sisters (foul-mouthed Adrienne and saint-obsessed Marie) together, she also dreams of a day when she can pursue her own dreams. She pours out her grief in her music and counts the days until she’ll hear back from music schools about applications she’s secretly sent out.

Then two new members join Vanessa’s family group—a boy whose cancer is in remission and his overprotective mother. As Vanessa and Caleb begin to fall in love, a terrible … Continue reading

Spotlight on Freedom’s Just Another Word by Caroline Stellings

Freedom's Just Another WordFreedom’s Just Another Word
by Caroline Stellings
Second Story Press
Available September 1, 2016

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About Freedom’s Just Another Word

The year Louisiana – Easy for short – meets Janis Joplin is the year everything changes. Easy is a car mechanic in her dad’s shop, but she can sing the blues like someone twice her age. So when she hears that Janis Joplin is passing through her small town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Easy is there with her heart – and her voice – in hand. It’s 1970 and Janis Joplin is an electrifying blues-rock singer at the height of her fame – and of her addictions. Yet she recognizes Easy’s talent and asks her to meet her in Texas to sing. So Easy begins … Continue reading

Review: It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh DumasIt Ain’t So Awful, Falafel
Firoozeh Dumas
Clarion Books

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When Zomorod Yousefzadeh and her family move (again), she decides to take the opportunity to start fresh and try to fit in with her new California schoolmates. The first thing to go? Her name. She adopts the classic Brady Bunch Cindy as her identity. After a rough start, she begins to find true friends. But when unrest in Iran turns into an American hostage crisis, Cindy begins to catch glimpses of an uglier side of the Land of the Free. Cruel bumper stickers and slogans send chilling messages to Cindy and her family. Cindy tries to protect her parents … Continue reading

Go Ask Alice (Anonymous)

Go Ask Alice
Anonymous
Simon Pulse
First published in 1971

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Go Ask Alice is a haunting story of a young girl’s descent into drug addiction and her desperate attempt to break free again. Her journal entries detail the highs and lows she experiences as she falls deeper under the spell her addiction to LSD. Through Alice’s eyes the reader sees her family’s desperate struggle to reach her, and the seductive power of the chemicals that pull her away from them.

First printed in 1971, Go Ask Alice still remains one of the most popular works about teen drug addiction.

It’s definitely a dated tale, but I think one of the reasons it survives is how haunting the story … Continue reading

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