Posts Tagged 'teenage relationships'



When I was Joe by Keren David

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  364

RAC:  Yes

Ty witnesses an attack in a park and decides to go to the police to explain what he saw.  He has no idea that by doing this he is placing his family and himself in terrible danger.  When he is allowed to go back to his apartment to pick up a few things the building he lives in is bombed.  Ty and his mom are sent into witness protection and Ty becomes Joe.  Joe’s life is a lot better than Ty’s and Ty starts to realize how much he hated his life before with the gang violence, bullies, and academic pressure from his mom.  As Joe starts to succeed, make friends, and even join sports teams he constantly fears that someone will find out who he is and turn him over to those who want to hurt him.  Plus, he is not telling the whole truth about what happened that fateful night in the park.  Can he forget his old life and become Joe forever?  Will he and his family be safe?  Will the truth ever come out?

This story is interesting in many ways and really encourages the reader to think about what it would mean to have to leave everything behind and become a new person.  It also realistically portrays how such a change can affect a family dynamic.  Ty’s story is realistic and you see many sides to him.  The story drags a bit near the end and readers will be frustrated to see his story does not come to a conclusion, but anyone who likes action and suspense will enjoy this title.  Recommended for teenage boys especially.

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Shift by Jennifer Bradbury


Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  25

RAC Book:  Yes

Chris and his best friend, Win, decide to go on a cross country bike ride the summer after graduation.  In the fall, only Chris returns to begin college.  Win’s parents enlist the FBI to find out what happened to their son.  Chris claims he has no idea, but worries he may have to face the events of that summer one way or another once the FBI starts threatening his family.  Can Chris face the events that led up to their separation?

This book delves into best friend relationships, parental relationships, growing up, and even choosing future goals.  The story is told in alternating chapters between Chris in the present getting harassed by the FBI and Chris and Win’s adventures on that summer trip.  Readers will become engaged in the story from the beginning and will want to know where Win is.  The story is fast paced and the characters are well-written.  Highly recommended.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Fantasy

# of Pages:  376

RAC Book:  No

Micah admits that she is a compulsive liar and would like to tell her story straight through with no lies.  Her boyfriend is found murdered in Central Park and several people suspect her involvement simply because she was his “secret” girlfriend.  She denies any knowledge of his murder and tries her best to avoid the stares and gossip.  She has difficulty getting along with her parents due to her lying and they want to send her upstate to live with relatives even though Micah is vehemently against this.  As the story goes on it becomes obvious that Micah has lied for so long that she has difficulty actually telling the straight truth, even when she wants to.  Can she ever set the record straight and tell what actually happened to her boyfriend?

While this book stays true to its title throughout the story, it does take a bizarre fantasy twist in the middle.  The twist will be liked by some, but disliked by many who thought the book was going to be more of a realistic fiction novel.  The ending is a bit quick and some teen readers may find it confusing or unsatisfying.  The story is interesting, but will leave many readers unsure about how they feel about it.


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