Review | Local Girl Swept Away by Ellen Wittlinger

51N1jqx5aSL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Local Girl Swept Away by Ellen Wittlinger
Published by Simon Pulse on June 15, 2016
Genres: Social & Family Issues, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Fiction
Pages: 270
Format: Hardcover
Source: Sent to me for review by Merit Press
Buy it: Amazon // Book Depository // Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★ 4/5


 

//SYNOPSIS//

They are four best friends who’ve shared joy and secrets, love and memories, and since the beginning, Lorna was the one who held them all together. Then, the unthinkable happens. During a storm, Lorna is swept out to sea, leaving the three survivors with nothing to cling to except grief and questions. How did this happen? Why was Lorna in such danger, and was she alone? When her body is never found, the mystery deepens. Did Lorna really die? Or has she made a crazy bid for freedom? Inevitably, the dynamic of the four friends’ everyday life is changed forever. But the pain and confusion go deepest for Jackie, who must face her feelings of unrequited love for Lorna’s boyfriend as well as try to put to rest her own questions about Lorna’s presumed death. Does one of the boys in their inner circle know more than he’s letting on? Will Lorna’s fate ever be discovered? And how will Jackie become her own person in the wake of a wound that may never close? In this beautifully written, intense novel, one girl has to travel through loss and disillusionment to make sense of her own future.


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Review | Breakfast With Neruda by Laura Moe

bwn_Breakfast With Neruda by Laura Moe
Published by Simon Pulse on May 16, 2016
Genres: Family, Stepfamilies, Social & Family Issues, Homelessness & Poverty, Depression & Mental Illness, Fiction
Pages: 252
Format: Hardcover
Source: Sent to me for review by Merit Press
Buy it: Amazon // Book Depository // Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★ 4/5


 

// SYNOPSIS //

Michael Flynn is just trying to get through his community service after he made the dumb decision to try to blow up his friend’s car with fireworks–the same friend who stole Michael’s girl. Being expelled and losing his best buddy and his girlfriend are the least of his problems: Michael has learned to hide everything, from his sick hoarder mother to the fact that he’s stuck living in a 1982 Ford LTD station wagon he calls the Blue Whale. Then one day, during mandatory community service, he meets Shelly, a girl with a past, who’s also special enough to unmask Michael’s deepest secrets. Can he manage to be worthy of her love, a guy living in a car, unable to return to his chaotic and fit-to-be-condemned home? Shelly won’t give up, and tries to peel back the layers of garbage and pain to reveal Michael’s immense heart.


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Review | Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

61zc8IRjtaL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw
Published by Razorbill on April 19, 2016
Genres: Social & Family Issues, Humor, Being a Teen, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought at Barnes & Noble
Buy it: Amazon // Book Depository // Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5


 

// SYNOPSIS //

Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.

When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them…until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett’s stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.


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Review: The Yearbook by Carol Masciola

51aAwP2OuiL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_The Yearbook by Carol Masciola
Published by Simon Pulse on November 15, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Social & Family Issues, Orphans & Foster Homes
Pages: 224
Format: Hardcover
Source: Sent to me for review by Merit Press
Buy it: Amazon // Book Depository // Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★ 3/5


 

// SYNOPSIS //

Misfit teen Lola Lundy has every right to her anger and her misery. She’s failing in school, living in a group home, and social workers keep watching her like hawks, waiting for her to show signs of the horrible mental illness that cost Lola’s mother her life. Then, one night, she falls asleep in a storage room in her high school library, where she’s seen an old yearbook–from the days when the place was an upscale academy for young scholars instead of a dump. When Lola wakes, it’s to a scene that is nothing short of impossible. Lola quickly determines that she’s gone back to the past–eighty years in the past, to be exact.

The Fall Frolic dance is going full blast in the gym, where Lola meets the brainy and provocative Peter Hemming’s, class of ’24. His face is familiar, because she’s seen his senior portrait in the yearbook. By night’s end, Lola thinks she sees hope for her disastrous present: She’ll make a new future for herself in the past. But is it real? Or has the major mental illness in Lola’s family background finally claimed her? Has she slipped through a crack in time, or into a romantic hallucination she created in her own mind, wishing on the ragged pages of a yearbook from a more graceful time long ago?


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