Natalie thinks her life in high school is going great, until being sick morphs into having surgery and needing a wheelchair. Why does life suck? Kids at school can be jerks. A wheelchair will just be like a big red bull’s eye shouting to her school that something is wrong. Natalie doesn’t want to stand out in that way.
Day one of going back to school Natalie decides to ditch her new set of wheels and stashes it near the school at an old abandoned house. By the end of the week of physically walking everywhere she is shocked that someone stole her brand new wheelchair. Natalie is too zapped to move from the spot where her chair had been. After she is found by her aide and gets a talking to, Natalie caves to using her wheelchair at school.
One day in the bathroom Natalie encounters the one known disabled girl named Riley. She’s in a wheelchair and is very loud in her clothing and makeup choice. Natalie wants to avoid her like the plague. Why be associated with the school outcast?
Eventually Riley gets Natalie to befriend her. Natalie realizes that Riley is human with feelings and is a great friend. They hang out on the weekend and are excited for the upcoming school dance until the principal has other plans.
I received my complimentary digital copy of Sick Girl Secrets by Anna Russell from West 44 Books, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and my choice. This novel written in verse deals with an important topic we don’t really discuss in school or socially as a society. Disability can be obvious, but also, invisible. Not all illnesses can be seen on the outside. Some are internal or mental. School can be a challenging place to try and fit into, let alone having to maneuver a wheelchair, crutches, etc. This story was fast paced, sweet, thought provoking and a satisfying read. Look for this upcoming fall release.
Becca Crisp used to be one of the popular girls till her best friend Tasha dumped her. At least she had her boyfriend Aiden. He was her world. Becca was glad she had a new BFF. Hannah was attentive towards Becca. She could be a tad clingy, but that was better than having no friends.
Becca’s world is thrown for a loop when Tasha is found on the banks of the river. A dog walker finds her. Tasha was officially dead for 13 whole minutes. Becca is not sure if she should go visit Tasha in the hospital, but figures since they used to be so close she should at least reach out. For some reason Tasha seems to connect with Becca better than with the Barbies once she gets out of the hospital.
As Becca re-enters the world of the “Barbies,” as Tasha’s clique is called she recalls all the past closeness they used to all share. The other Barbies Jenny and Hayley are cold and cruel towards her. Becca can’t understand where things went wrong, why she was pushed out of their insulated nest? Jenny and Hayley seem jealous over Tasha renewing her interest in her friendship with Becca.
Solving the mystery of why and how Tasha landed in the river is filled with fits and starts. Becca thinks she has it figured out until something shocking occurs that rocks their whole town. Are the Barbies who they portray themselves as being?
This novel goes into depth on the topics of friendship, control, relationships and how they aren’t always as neat as they appear on the outside. As children the status of being Best Friends Forever with a friend is a coveted role. It’s the highest pinnacle of a teen’s life aside from having an official boyfriend or girlfriend. When you gain that status is it truly forever?
If you enjoy YA that has suspense, mystery, drama, snarkiness then I highly recommend 13 Minutes. This book sucked me in from the first sentence, though the use of the word shit was a tad overused. I received my free ARC of 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough from NetGalley in exchange for my review.
Aristotle is a loner whose content to keep to himself until one day Dante arrives on the scene. Aristotle who prefers to go by Ari is at his local neighborhood swimming pool. He doesn’t know how to swim, but at least he can stick his feet in the water. Dante notices him and offers to teach him to swim. This starts a new friendship for both teens. Dante is well liked, but doesn’t have any friends. Ari is the quiet, brooding type. Both teens learn to let their guards down and trust each other. Both of them are struggling with who they are in the world.
I can relate with Ari. His relationship with his dad is one of occasional conversation, but nothing too, deep. Ari’s dad is a veteran who won’t talk about the war, is very reserved and quiet. My dad isn’t a vet, but he can be quiet and reserved around me. I think the relationship between these two characters is a great picture of how through life’s challenges the wall between a parent and child can be torn down.
Mr. Saenz provides yet again a beautifully written book about friendship, love, figuring out who you are whether you like girls, boys, or possibly both. Ari’s story grabs you from chapter one. The cast of characters from Ari, Dante, their parents, Ari’s brother whose not mentioned at home and his extended family have all unique personalities. Ari and Dante’s friendship shows what true friends will go through for a best friend they truly care about. If you are looking for a story with funny, contemplative moments this is the book for you.
This cover has been taunting me every time I go into the YA section of Changing Hands. The girl on the cover is flawless, her eyes are a greenish blue color, her hair is a pretty brown and the title on pieces of notebook paper catch your attention. Die For You is one novel you aren’t going to be able forget.
This short YA novel is about Emma who starts her life over when her mom chooses to have an affair, divorce Emma’s dad and kick him out. Being furious with her mom for breaking up their family Emma decides to move in with her dad for her senior year of high school. One day while out jogging she meets two guys Jace and Dillon. After hanging out a few times Emma and Dillon become the perfect couple.
Dillon is on the high school baseball team, saves Emma from being injured on her first day of work and is always reassuring her of his love. Emma and Dillon start always tell each other they will save each other, but when does loving someone become obsessive?
Emma loves archeology and has a great internship opportunity. She’s thrilled she might get picked to go to Rome. Emma hopes Dillon will be thrilled for her and excited, but instead he is angry. Dillon feels like Emma is abandoning him, breaking up just so she can go off to Rome. He doesn’t seem to get she’s not breaking up with him. Dillon starts to try to pressure Emma to hold off on the internship. They have plans for the future and she’s ruining it with Rome. Emma hopes he’ll calm down, but after one angry incident where Dillon hits his elbow into the side of his truck in anger Emma realizes it might be more than just a case of jealousy.
This novel explores the tough topics of teen relationships, love, what is protective and what is possessive, how to tell when a relationship is becoming abusive and more. I highly recommend this very fast paced read.