E. Lockhart pens a haunting story in Family of Liars. She not only shares how unearned privilege can lead to “terrible things on top of terrible things” but how those with resources often get a pass: “They assume that girls like us—educated girls from a ‘good family’—they assume we are telling the truth. We get the benefit of the doubt, the assumption of innocence, conferred by our family name” (277). Tucked in the telling, though, Lockhart also shares how messy and miserable that “pretending, lying, trying to have a good time” (219) can become. Because Carrie Sinclair is depressed and suffering, dealing with issues ofRead More →

Adi Rule writes an intriguing story about Viveca North in Why Would I Lie? Rule’s protagonist has a plan—a fool-proof, clockwork plan for success. It involves being intense and having an extreme work ethic to achieve “perfect grades, perfect extracurriculars, perfect recommendations. Then a perfect launch, an upward trajectory into the life that has always felt out of reach” (1-2). Viveca dreams of attending Everett College and majoring in psychology. Her ticket to that dream is earning status as valedictorian and winning the Pinniped County Futurists Scholarship Contest. Currently a student at Elton Prep, a swanky private school, Viveca can’t wait to get out ofRead More →

Imagine living underground without sunlight, sky, fresh air, or space to run unfettered.  Set in an underground city called Caverna, A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge imagines that possibility for the reader.  An amazing machine where nothing happens naturally or without planning, the city is home to many craftsmen and women who create the world’s delicacies: wines, cheeses, spices, perfumes, and balms.  Despite these elegant refinements with their magical properties, Caverna is a dark and drab and dank place, where even the citizenry have been deprived of real emotion.  Instead, they select a suitable Face from the 200 they have been taught in infancy. Read More →