Jennifer Brown is making a name for herself with striking, poignant novels about hard-to-face topics.  Her latest novel, following her fantastic debut Hate List, is Bitter End, which explores with wide-open eyes and complete candor, the emotional roller coaster of a young woman in love with an abusive boyfriend. High school senior Alex is haunted by the tragic accident that killed her mother when she was a young girl; the fact that her father will never talk about the circumstances that lead her mom out onto the road to Colorado so many years ago, and the isolation she feels in her family at being the only one whoRead More →

Gayle Forman’s If I Stay is an incredible book.  It’s heartbreaking, lyrical, visceral and beautiful.  I shed tears a few times while reading it. And when Mia chose to come back to a broken body, a life without her parents and beloved younger brother, to an uncertain future, but to the fierce love of her grandparents and boyfriend Adam, I rejoiced.  Next month, Dutton will release Where She Went, Forman’s sequel to If I Stay.  Three years have passed and now, and from Adam’s perspective we learn what happened to Adam and Mia.  Adam’s band, Shooting Star, has propelled him to rock star existance: he’s rich; hounded byRead More →

Blake Nelson’s latest YA novel, Recovery Road, is a novel about a journey. At the opening of the book, high school junior Maddie is being committed to a rehab facility after a drunken car accident.  The story gets going a  few weeks later once she’s in the transitional program nearing her release.  On one of the weekly movie nights that the patients in the transitional program are allowed to leave the facility to attend, Maddie meets Stewart, a beautiful but remote guy about her age. Their attraction is instantaneous and soon they are finding ways to be together whenever they can.  Once Maddie is back homeRead More →