Posts Tagged 'divorce'



Manifest by Artist Arthur

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  248

RAC Book:  Yes

Krystal has recently moved to a new town due to her parent’s divorce and she is having trouble adjusting to her new life.  She has not made any friends, has stopped eating, and now has begun seeing ghosts.  Specifically, one ghost named Ricky has been following her.  He was a student at her school, but was shot and killed before she arrived.  Now he wants to find who really killed him so that he can cross over.  As Krystal copes with this difficult situation she meets two other students who mysteriously have the same birthmark as her.  They quickly realize that they all have special gifts and they plan to work together to find out what happened to Ricky.  They call themselves the Mystyx.  Despite Krystal’s hesitance to let others in on her secret, she finds relief when she can talk to her new friends about her supernatural visions.  Her relief is short lived, however, when she realizes that someone wants to hurt her for helping Ricky and the reasons behind his murder go deeper than she expected.

The plot of this story is interesting as Krystal tries to piece together what happened to Ricky.  The characters are interesting and well developed.  The writing style is a little simple and might turn off some young adult readers.  The beginning feels a bit slow and predictable, but once she meets her fellow mystyx things pick up quickly.  Fans of supernatural mysteries will enjoy this title, but it is not the best one out there right now.  Recommended to supplement a thriving fantasy collection.

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Waiting for you by Susane Colasanti

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Romance

# of Pages:  322 p.

RAC:  Yes

Marisa and Sterling are two best friends who are determined to begin this new school year right.  They set goals for making friends, getting boyfriends, and succeeding in school.  Marisa is a little apprehensive about this year because the previous year she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and depression.  She feels she has recovered, but always worries those lonely feelings will come back.  She also desperately wants to date Derek, the popular boy in school, which is why she shuns the romantic advances of her male best friend, Nash.  To top everything off, Marisa learns her parents are going to get divorced.  Basically, nothing goes exactly as she and Sterling planned and Marisa wonders if she can handle so many unexpected obstacles in her life.  The only person who seems able to understand her is this mystery DJ Dirty Dirk,  who broadcasts an anonymous show every night.  Will she be strong enough to ask for help if she needs it?

Marisa’s difficulty with depression is handled very accurately in this story as she struggles to make it day to day without feeling hopeless and alone.  Even though she knows she has a lot to be grateful for, she can’t seem to make herself feel that way on her own.  Jealousy, anger, and confusion are all a part of Marisa’s life, which most teenagers can probably relate to.  As she tries to make sense of those around her she realizes that she does not have to have all of the answers at once, but just needs to keep trying to reach her goals.  Fans of Sarah Dessen will enjoy this one.

Three Willows by Ann Brashares

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 12 and up

# of Pages: 318 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Ama, Jo, and Polly are three friends who met in 3rd grade and have drifted a bit over the last few years. In the summer before their freshman year of high school they each take a different journey. Ama reluctantly takes an opportunity to go on a wilderness adventure in which she can earn school credit.   In order to get credit, however, she has to survive to the end and rappel off of a mountain. Jo goes to her family’s summer home with her mother and gets a job at a restaurant. Polly decides to go to a modeling clinic. Ama has a difficult time adjusting to her wilderness adventure because she is weak, slow, and seems to get hurt a lot. She thinks about giving up and going home several times, but she doesn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about her real feelings. Jo realizes that her parents’ marriage is in trouble and makes some bad choices over the summer in order to avoid dealing with it. Polly feels very lonely with no friends and a mother who spends all of her time in her workshop. She responds by putting herself on a strict diet. As the three struggle with their personal problems they all realize how important it is to keep your true friends close.

Those who were fans of the original sisterhood books will like this story. The writing style is the same and it is easy to care about these three girls and the struggles they have to deal with over this very important summer. The girls from the traveling pants series are mentioned briefly, but it is not a sequel to those books. Instead, it is a book about friendship with three new girls. These girls are a bit younger than the traveling pants girls, but they will find an audience who cares about them and wants to hear what happens to them after they start high school. The transition to high school is a time of many changes for young girls and that is illustrated beautifully in this story as each girl struggles with different challenges and finds inner strength she never knew she had. Brashares knows how to write very relatable and interesting teenage girls.

Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendelin Van Draanen

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  13 and up

# of Pages:  294 p.

RAC Book:  yes

Evangeline is going through a difficult time as her parents have recently separated due to her father’s infidelity and she cannot bring herself to even look at him let alone talk to him.  Her best friend, Adrienne, is very supportive but is also very involved at school and is therefore not around as much as Evangeline would like.  After reading one of her mom’s romance novels Evangeline decides that what she needs is a true “crimson kiss.”  In order to find her perfect kiss she begins going around kissing random people and soon gets a reputation.  As rumors swirl about her she must decide what it is she is really looking for and how she can center herself before spinning completely out of control and losing everyone she cares about.

This story is about a girl who is struggling with her parents’ separation and finds herself trying to look for things in life that she thinks she wants.  In the end, she discovers that she does not even really know what she wants and she must face some of the difficult situations she has been trying so desperately to avoid.  The main situation being that she refuses to speak with her father even after his repeated attempts to communicate.  The story is entertaining and will be popular with teenage girls.

Losing Forever by Gayle Friesen

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 13 and up

# of Pages: 247 p.

RAC Book: yes

Jes is struggling with every aspect of her life. She is still dealing with the death of her younger sister and subsequent divorce of her parents. Meanwhile, her mother is engaged to be married again and her new fiancee has brought his teenage daughter to live in Jes’s room. Jes’s best friend is smitten with her new boyfriend, which makes Jes feel unneeded and forgotten. Everyone keeps trying to include her in their plans, but she doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere anymore. Can she ever communicate her feelings to those she loves without alienating everyone around her?

This story appears very simple, but resonates with many teenagers who feel like life is passing them by while they try to make sense of what is around them. Teenagers go through many changes with friends and family and often need time to process and adjust to all of these changes. This story finds an audience and conveys a story that the audience can truly relate to. Life is never easy and people often respond to major life changes in different ways. It’s important for young adults to have characters like this one to read about in order to better understand their own feelings about major life changes.


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