So these are not guaranteed to be clean teen reads. This list is made up of the stories and characters which most captured me, deprived me of sleep or free thought until I’d finished the very last page or beyond. Read my reviews (click the book title) for more information on content of each novel. Enjoy!
1. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – I loved that Shusterman took us on this journey through mental illness and it felt so authentic. At the same time the metaphorical structure made it easy to follow the story and added to its complexity.
Bullying leaves fourteen year-old Audrey paralyzed with an anxiety disorder. Now she hides behind sunglasses within the safe walls of her family’s home. When her therapist challenges her to create a video diary, Audrey begins filming interactions between family members. Her mother, believing Audrey’s brother has a gaming addiction, sets out to cure him, by force if necessary. Frank, Audrey’s brother, just wants to enter a gaming competition, and he’ll do whatever he has to do to get time online practicing for the big day. The competition prep introduces Audrey to Linus, her brother’s gaming buddy. Linus seems to like Audrey, despite her … Continue reading →