Posts Tagged 'drunk driving'

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

saint anything

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Romance

# of Pages:  417

RAC:  Yes

Sydney was always the overlooked younger sibling to Peyton, her charismatic lovable older brother.  When Peyton is arrested and sent to jail for paralyzing a teenager while driving his car drunk things shift even more in his direction as their parents struggle to help him in any way they can.  Sydney begins to feel unsafe in her own home as Peyton’s overly friendly friend, Ames, begins to frequent her house more and more.  By chance, she meets the Chatham family and with it a new best friend and potential boyfriend.  The Chathams are everything her family is not and Sydney feels noticed and listened to in a way her family hasn’t for a long time.  Eventually, her two worlds collide and she must make some big decisions about where to go from here.  Can she forgive her brother for destroying her family?  Can she date a boy her family deems unworthy?  Will her parents ever give her the attention she deserves as the only remaining child in the home?

Sarah Dessen once again creates a story full of wonderful and engaging characters that make you want to know more about them.  Sydney’s family obviously has some very serious issues with Peyton’s predicament, but yet that does not change the fact that they still have a child who needs their attention as well.  Meanwhile, the Chathams have had some terrible disappointments too as their mother is very ill.  The two families handle conflict in their own ways and Sydney finds strength from both of them in different ways.  The romance between Sydney and Mac is sweet, but does not take over the story where Sydney is the main focus.  Recommended for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han novels.

Notes From the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of pages:  265 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

Alex Gregory is coping with his parents’ messy divorce and one night decides to break into the liquor cabinet, get drunk, steal his mother’s car, and drive to his father’s to tell him off.  His plan doesn’t work out when he drives over his neighbor’s lawn and breaks her precious lawn gnome.  Things only get worse when his judge overhears him saying that he doesn’t agree with his lawyer’s decision to plead guilty since no one got hurt.  This particular judge has no time for drunk drivers and proceeds to give him 100 hours of community service at a local nursing home.

Solomon Lewis is the man Alex is assigned to visit during his 100 hours.  At first Sol seems mean and mean and overly critical to Alex, but one day he brings his guitar and plays some jazz and Sol loves it.  Soon Alex decides to work with two students at school to plan a jazz concert for the home.  To his surprise, Sol ends up knowing a lot more about jazz than he thought.  As Alex spends time with Sol he learns that he has a daughter who never comes to visit him and he also has emphysema.  He wants to help make his last months memorable and meaningful, which is exactly what he does.

Sonnenblick, the author of Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, has written another great story about a teenager who loves music and wants to make a difference.  This story proves that no matter what has happened in the past you can always start over and make things right.  His stories show teenagers that they do not have to accept the stereotype that they are reckless, selfish, and an overall a menace to society.  In fact, teenagers can do great things, if they want to.