Monday, February 23, 2009

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Jennifer Harris was able to change her life after her only friend, Cameron, moved away when she was 9. She lost weight, changed her name, and moved. Now she is 17 and senior and high school, has a boyfriend and tons of friends but now Cameron has returned turning her life upside down. Secrets come out about his abusive father. They have to confront past memories with out letting anyone else know. Cameron ends up staying with her parents while they try to get everything straightened out but in the end he decides to return to California (where the rest of his family is) to help his brothers and sisters. A quiet novel about the strength of childhood friendships

Chanda's War by Allan Stratton

This compelling book tells the story of Chanda, who due to her mother's recent death, is responsible for the well-being of her brother and sister. Encouraged to make amends with her estranged family, Chanda travels to a nearby town from which her brother and sister are stolen by a group of rebels. This book is, in large part, a book about child soldiers in war-torn Africa. More than that, however, this is a family story and one of courage and adventure. The narrative is well-constructed and Stratton keeps you wondering with each page what is going to happen.

Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

Danielle has never known a life without stealing. She and her mother live on the run, stealing silver, and never letting anyone know the real them. Then they come to Heaven, and Danielle starts gets a taste of what she has never had, realizing that she wants a life without stealing, without silver, and without fake names or IDs, she just wants to be normal. But, will she ever be able to?

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Kidnapped at 10 from a school field trip, and held captive by a psycho child molester until age 15, "Alice" has to choose her replacement, knowing she would rather be dead than alive.

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena

Danny is spending the summer in National City with his Mexican relatives while his mother tries out living with her new boyfriend in San Francisco. Danny has essentially stopped talking; his heart is broken by his father's abandonment three years earlier. The only thing that Danny really seems to care about is baseball, yet even his passion and talent for the game can't earn him a spot on the team at his private prep school back home. During one intense summer Danny comes to terms with his depression and anger, perfects his game, hangs out with his cousin Sofia and her crew of tough-yet-caring gangsta friends, finds first love, and discovers what really happened with his father.

Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by e. Lockhart

This is one of those boarding school books I loved as a teen,
with a new twist. Frankie gets the hot guy as her boyfriend,
but instead of losing herself, she actually finds herself. There's a
lot of intrigue, too, because there's a secret society and a mystery to solve.

Venomous by Christopher Krovatin

Chris Krovatin (rhymes with "Satan") has written a touching, humorous, meaningful novel profiling Locke (stockinbarrel), a teen with a huge anger problem which he refers to as his alter ego, Venom. Locke beats the s*** out of people--so bad, they are barely alive after! Locke also loves his little brother and wants to set a good example for him. The novel alternates between Locke's story and the story of Venom, which of course becomes the story of Locke as well. Along the way, Locke makes some friends, falls in love, beats somebody up, gets a tattoo, and basically lives his teenaged life.