Before she had an eating disorder, twelve-year-old Riley was many things: an aspiring artist, a runner, a sister, and a friend.
But now, from inside the inpatient treatment center where she's receiving treatment for anorexia, it's easy to forget all of that. Especially since under the influence of her eating disorder, Riley alienated her friends, abandoned her art, turned running into something harmful, and destroyed her family's trust.
If Riley wants her life back, she has to recover.
Part of her wants to get better. As she goes to therapy, makes friends in the hospital, and starts to draw again, things begin to look up.
But when her roommate starts to break the rules, triggering Riley's old behaviors and blackmailing her into silence, Riley realizes that recovery will be even harder than she thought. She starts to think that even if she does "recover," there's no way she'll stay recovered once she leaves the hospital and is faced with her dieting mom, the school bully, and her gymnastics-star sister.
Written by an eating disorder survivor, this is a realistic depiction of inpatient eating disorder treatment, and a moving story about a girl who has to fight herself to survive.
Last year (it’s so hard to believe it was actually last year already), I read P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy, and I thought it was one of the most beautiful middle grade books that I’ve ever read. Of … Continue reading
Susan is the new girl—she’s sharp and driven, and strives to meet her parents’ expectations of excellence. Malcolm is the bad boy—he started raising hell at age fifteen, after his mom died of cancer, and has had a reputation ever since.
Susan’s parents are on the verge of divorce. Malcolm’s dad is a known adulterer.
Susan hasn’t told anyone, but she wants to be an artist. Malcolm doesn’t know what he wants—until he meets her.
Love is messy and families are messier, but in spite of their burdens, Susan and Malcolm fall for each other. The ways they drift apart and come back together are testaments to family, culture, and being true to who you are.
I actually just bought a copy of A Girl Like That about two weeks ago because I’ve been wanting to read it for a while and haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet. While I haven’t read that … Continue reading
From the author of the "unputdownable" international hit The One Memory of Flora Banks comes a fast-paced cross-continental journey of identity, family, darkness and light, and the ways in which we define ourselves.
Ella Black has always had dark inclinations. She's successfully hidden her evil alter ego from her family and friends, but Bella is always there, ready to take control and force Ella to do bad things. When Ella's parents drag her out of school one afternoon and fly across the globe to Rio de Janeiro with no believable explanation, Bella longs to break free--and so does Ella. Because for all that her parents claim to be doing what's best for her, Ella knows there is something going on that they're not divulging, and she is determined to find out what.
Once in Rio, Ella learns a shocking truth about her family that gives way to a mission through the streets and beaches of Brazil in search of her authentic self. But the truth has many layers, and as Ella uncovers more and more about her own history, she struggles to come to terms with just where it is that she came from.
The Truth and Lies of Ella Black was no doubt my most anticipated read for winter of 2019. I absolutely LOVED The One Memory of Flora Banks (and I even made Flora Banks inspired cupcakes, which you can check out … Continue reading
THEY BEGAN AS STRANGERS -- FOUR TEENAGE GIRLS WITH NOTHING IN COMMON BUT THEIR MISERABLE CHILDHOODS. SOON, THEY WOULD REALIZE THAT THEIR SECRET PASTS HAD BOUND THEM TOGETHER FOREVER....
Misty, Star, Jade, and Cat first came together in Dr. Marlowe's group therapy sessions. They trusted no one but each other -- and even that bond was fragile at best. One by one, each of the Wildflowers told her own story and bravely unveiled the inner wounds inflicted by years of lies, deceit, and untold family secrets; each revealed the shocking tales of how their parents hurt them, used them, or simply abandoned them. And as they shared their darkest feelings, they no longer felt like lost souls with nowhere to turn. Finally, years of loneliness and pain gave way to the realization that someone else in this world understood them. But then the sessions ended, and the girls didn't know if they would ever see each other again.
Now they are coming together one more time. Jade has sent out invitations to her parents' mansion -- the sprawling, opulent home that served as a battleground for much of her young life. There, the four will rekindle their bonds of friendship and trust. But this time, away from Dr. Marlowe's watchful eye, it will be different. Today, in the mansion's attic, Star, Jade, Cat, and Misty will take each other's hands and swear to tell the real truth -- the shattering secrets that lie deep within them like smoldering coals. And once the darkest secret of all is spoken aloud, there will be no turning back. For there may be some things the Wildflowers should leave buried forever....
Into the Garden is the fifth and final installment in the Wildflowers series, which is written under the V.C. Andrews name. While I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the series, for some reason I have a special place in my … Continue reading
"We lived in such a perfect world. Why were we so imperfect?"
All Misty ever wanted was a normal family. But like so many others, Misty's parents didn't stay together. Now they use Misty to hurt each other, to deliver tiny cruelties in an endless stream. Misty knows her parents might love her. But Misty has an unspeakable secret that burns in the core of her very being: she hates them.
Misty isn't as alone as she thinks. She's about to meet three other girls who are just like her -- each one with their own dark secrets to share....
The many millions of V.C. Andrews fans, and particularly the younger readers among them, will thrill to the first in a new, four-book series on the struggles and secrets of children of divorce. Misty is the tale of a young girl facing the trials of her devious, divorced parents and the terrors of a deeply-held secret. When she meets three other girls in therapy, also children of divorce, she learns that she's not alone -- and
not alone in sharing secrets.
My mom has always had a ton of books by V.C. Andrews in her bookshelf, and to be honest, I think the only one I ever read was Flowers in the Attic. I read that when I was probably like … Continue reading
Someone will shoot. And someone will die.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins tackles gun violence and white supremacy in this compelling and complex novel.
People kill people. Guns just make it easier.
A gun is sold in the classifieds after killing a spouse, bought by a teenager for needed protection. But which was it? Each has the incentive to pick up a gun, to fire it. Was it Rand or Cami, married teenagers with a young son? Was it Silas or Ashlyn, members of a white supremacist youth organization? Daniel, who fears retaliation because of his race, who possessively clings to Grace, the love of his life? Or Noelle, who lost everything after a devastating accident, and has sunk quietly into depression?
One tense week brings all six people into close contact in a town wrought with political and personal tensions. Someone will fire. And someone will die. But who?
Ellen Hopkins is known for her honest, gripping, and raw novels that combine different writing styles, characters, and harrowing experiences that are sure to shock you and will make you think. I fell in love with her writing back when … Continue reading
Can you still have a home if you don't have a house?
Always think in threes and you'll never fall, Cora's father told her when she was a little girl. Two feet, one hand. Two hands, one foot. That was all Cora needed to know to climb the trees of Brooklyn.
But now Cora is a middle schooler, a big sister, and homeless. Her mother is trying to hold the family together after her father's death, and Cora must look after her sister, Adare, who's just different, their mother insists. Quick to smile, Adare hates wearing shoes, rarely speaks, and appears untroubled by the question Cora can't help but ask: How will she find a place to call home?
After their room at the shelter is ransacked, Cora's mother looks to an old friend for help, and Cora finally finds what she has been looking for: Ailanthus altissima, the "tree of heaven," which can grow in even the worst conditions. It sets her on a path to discover a deeper truth about where she really belongs.
Just Under the Clouds is a heartwarming and sweet middle grade novel that instills the message of home being wherever your family is. This is one of those books that I think would be amazing for all middle graders to … Continue reading
It's a perfect day for Lark's dream date with Alec from school. Blue skies, clear water, a canoe on the lake. Alec even brought flowers for Lark's birthday. Everything is just right ... until they hear screams from the edge of the water.
Annabelle, a little girl Lark used to babysit, is struggling in the reeds. When Lark and Alec dive in to help her, Alec hits his head on a rock. Now Annabelle and Alec are both in trouble, and Lark can only save one of them.
With that split-second decision, Lark's world is torn in two, leaving her to cope with the consequences of both choices. She lives two lives, two selves. But which is the right life, and which is the real Lark?
Me and Me is about how it feels to be torn in pieces, and how to make two halves whole again. This mind-bending novel from Alice Kuipers, expert chronicler of the teenage heart, explores loss and love, music and parkour, all while navigating the narrow space between fantasy and reality.
I want to start out by saying that I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about Me and Me. I hadn’t read anything by this author prior to going into this book, but once I started reading it, … Continue reading
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret.
Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.
Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way. People she never noticed before. A boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.
Speechless was actually published a few years back, but I haven’t even known about it until recently, when I got it from Harlequin on one of their big sale days. Curious, I added it to my order, and it sat … Continue reading
Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.
Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave...
Not having read The Walls Around Us (but I promise – I do own a copy!), I wasn’t prepared for the very amazing way that Nova Ren Suma can tell a story. Wow. I’m completely blown away by her almost … Continue reading