Posts Tagged 'mother-daughter relationships'

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Romance

# of Pages:  276

RAC:  Yes

Belly spends every summer with her family at her mother’s best friend’s (Susannah) beach house.  This includes Susannah’s two sons, Jeremiah and Conrad.  Belly has had a crush on Conrad for a long time, but he has always been unavailable in some way and she believes she has gotten over him.  When she returns to the summer house this year things get complicated when suddenly both boys notice Belly and the young beauty she has become.  Belly is unsure how to handle all of this attention and decides to date a nearby local boy in order to sort out what she wants from a relationship.  Meanwhile, the brothers are struggling with family issues in their own ways.  Can they let Belly in on their secrets or will they treat her as an outsider like they have her entire life?  Can Belly make peace with the kind of relationship she hopes to find one day?

This book is simple and realistic in its pacing and storyline.  Many high school girls will be able to connect with Belly and the issues she is facing such as physical changes, family dynamic changes, feelings of insecurity, and even dating issues.  The problems addressed in the story include some serious issues like divorce, death, and growing up.  Fans of Dessen and Colasanti will definitely like the writing style and characterization of Belly.

Waiting For Normal by Leslie Connor

 

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  290

2010 Iowa Teen Award Winner

RAC Book:  No

Addison and her mother have just moved into a trailer because her mother divorced Addie’s stepdad and he got custody of her two little sisters.  Dwight, her stepdad, promises to check up on her and bring the girls to visit, but Addie is not convinced that this will happen.  She misses them so much because she knows that life with her mother is unpredictable and hard.  As time goes on, Addie befriends the two people who work in the mini-mart across the parking lot.  Her mother disapproves, but Addie enjoys hanging out with them and knows she can always count on them.  Addie’s mom starts spending more and more time away from the trailer working on a new “business” and Addie begins to wonders when she’ll ever have a normal life and a normal family.  She begins to think she should stop thinking about it in case it never happens. 

Addie’s story is very believable as there are many young people out there who live in unstable homes with unreliable parental figures.  Due to the fact that Addie is very responsible, her mother takes advantage of her and treats her like another adult instead of like a child.  The characters are compelling and interesting.  Addie’s problems continue to get worse and it’s easy to see how she might begin to feel hopeless, but there is always a glimmer of hope and the story has a satisfying ending that will leave young readers happy.   Highly recommended for late elementary and junior high readers.


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