It seems a common theme: a young woman, popular, powerful, reckless, driven, and admired; yet underneath, harboring seering secret pain, broken and wracked with guilt over the merciless ways she misuses her power, crumbling under others’ expectations and the pressure to maintain the perfect facade.  And then she snaps and, in the case of  junior Liz Emerson in debut author Amy Zhang‘s Falling Into Place, drives her car off a cliff one snowy January day. Reconstructing Liz’s life –  her rise to be queen bee and her spiral downward – are her two “best friends”, Julia and Kennie.  We also meet a variety of otherRead More →

On the day when his younger brother, Luke, needed him the most, Matt Turner wasn’t there for him.  Now, after Luke’s suicide, Matt lives in guilt over not being there for his brother both during the bullying that lead to his suicide and on that last day; anger at both his parents for their ineffectual response to the tragedy; disappointed in friends who turned their backs when things got tough; and completely without faith in God and in a future where life “will get better.”  Matt clings to his girlfriend, Hayden, like a drowning man hanging onto a life preserver, even though their relationship isRead More →