When her Rosie the Riveter tribute photo is altered and mocked online, 1940s culture fan Poppy withdraws from her friends and family.
The Canadian teen’s twin brother is happily out, her roller derby team will just have to do without her.
At least she’s hidden from the world as she wears a chicken suit to advertise for a local restaurant.
Introduced to a group of homeless-by-choice friends by a lively little girl, Poppy looks forward to evenings with them under the bridge – Thumper with his Bible, Lewis saving money for transition surgery, Buck photographing absolutely everything.
Poppy’s now becomes bearable, but what of the future?
Will social services take little Miracle from her struggling mom?
Is her twin Cam really happy at his new summer job?
Chicken Girl is puns and poses, exploration and misunderstanding, community and much more. Read an excerpt here for free, courtesy of the publisher.
Who’s in your friend-family? **kmm
Book info: Chicken Girl / Heather Smith. Penguin Teen, 2019. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
The Van Gogh brothers shared dreams and heartaches throughout their lives, with Vincent leaving their family home to pursue his art and Theo later giving him a place to stay and work in Paris. Based on their lifetime of correspondence.
Dad’s lies catch up with him,
Mom’s depression is so deep,
what’s the appropriate quotation for this?
No summer with friends for Ashlyn after being unfairly sent to boarding school last year for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time!
While Dad is in prison for tax evasion and Mom’s taking spa treatments to cope, Ash has to work at summer camp with the cousin she hasn’t seen since they were little kids.
Actually it’s a retreat center in the Pennsylvania woods, worlds away from her DC suburb… who knows what she’ll be doing or how her rarely-visited family will treat her.
Her aunt and uncle welcome her warmly, cousin Hannah will show her everything at the center, and surely summer will pass smoothly so Ashlyn’s parents will let her transfer home for her senior year.
Of course the newest employee gets the most boring jobs (sports equipment checkout for family reunion? yawn), but even she can tell that the recently hired director isn’t keeping up with essentials.
Flirting with lifeguard Marcus and ziplining with Baxter are definite high points; visiting Dad in prison isn’t.
Will the camp owner listen to Ashlyn’s concerns about the director?
When will Dad’s stern voice stop invading her thoughts?
We met Ashlyn last summer in It Started With Goodbye (my no-spoiler recommendation here) as she and best friend Tatum made small choices with big consequences – now see what’s next (like this same summer for T’s stepsister recounted in Everywhere You Want To Be (more here)).
How have you turned a bad situation into a better one? **kmm
Book info: No Place Like Here / Christina June. Blink YA Books, 2019. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Low-key job at pet store, Golden Girls reruns for comfort,
should make anyone happy enough, except…
Mom’s offbeat depression remedy (“just bake the perfect cake!”), therapist’s soothing talk (and he is just so cute!), trying not to disappoint friend Elle and new co-worker Alex (but sometimes even putting on her sandals is too much effort) – Molly isn’t exactly reveling in her summer before senior year as depression digs its claws into her.
Find the May 2017 paperback or 2016 hardcover at your local library or independent bookstore to see how Molly copes with change, her bake-happy mom, and trying to throw off the crushing load of depression during all 100 Days of Cake.
When is it okay to pass on advice that might be more placebo than not?
Book info: 100 Days of Cake / Shari Goldberg. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: The waves of depression keep getting deeper for Molly during summer before senior year, as the Florida teen wishes that therapy really would help her, longs for her so-cute therapist, and wants everything to stop changing so she has time to get better.
Her successful hairdresser mom is certain that the 100 Cakes Challenge will perk up Molly, her best friend Elle is easing away, and FishTopia’s owner wants to sell out.
Without their job together, what will happen to her sorta-relationship with Alex?
How can she think about the SAT and college choices when she’s too tired, all the time?
Why can’t she just spend all day talking about music with dreamy Dr. B?
Ooey-Gooey Butter Cake (very gooey), Wedding Cake with Fondant (extra-lumpy), Asian Bubble Tea Cake (would her late dad like that one?) – one hundred cakes, one hundred summer days, one million chances to try again…
Her twin drowned 5 years ago,
her memory blanked out, her parents can’t cope.
Dive down, deeper, darker.
Free diving – no oxygen, no safety equipment – risky, exhilarating, and the only way that Elsie can get closer to uncovering what happened when she and Eddie were on the beach that terrible day…
In hardcover now and releasing in paperback on 11 April 2017, The Art of Not Breathing takes us where memory just cannot go.
Book info: The Art of Not Breathing / Sarah Alexander. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2016 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: The rough North Sea taunts Elsie, as the 16 year old struggles to remember what happened five years ago on this shore, where her twin Eddie vanished, her parents splintered to bits, and all the town gave up on her family.
Skipping school and retreating to the abandoned boathouse, the Scottish teen is startled to meet mysterious Tay and his pals there, free divers who dare the sea by diving deeper and deeper without oxygen or safety gear.
Of course, Elsie convinces the guys to teach her to free dive, certain that her memories about her mentally challenged twin’s disappearance will be unlocked by the depths.
But, what secret is Tay hiding?
Will Elsie ever remember what happened to Eddie?
Can anything put her family back together again?
Book info: At the Edge of the Universe / Shaun David Hutchinson. Simon Pulse, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: If Ozzie can just find where his boyfriend Tommy has gone, then the high school senior can stop his family from disintegrating, celebrate gender-fluid best friend Lua’s musical success, and prove to everyone that Tommy does exist!
And discover why lab partner Calvin started cutting himself after quitting the wrestling team.
And stop the universe from shrinking, shrinking, with his little Florida town at the center.
Appearances mask the inner being all too well in this week’s free AudioSYNC novels.
Click the book title to go straight to the AudioSYNC download page for it, but hurry! This pair of free complete audiobooks will only available for download from Thursday through Wednesday (May 26 – June 2, 2016).
Once you’ve downloaded an AudioSYNC audiobook, you can listen to it any time, as long as you have it on your computer or electronic device.
Carefully hiding her OCD from her clique, Samantha is introduced to her school’s secret Poet’s Corner by quirky Caroline and discovers a new side of herself, a cute guitar player, and a major threat to her sanity.
I just LOVED this book, recommending it here last August!
A television show that they adore,
Creative juices flowing in words and art,
Completing the story arc, like their friendship completes them…
I heard authors Hannah (Not Otherwise Specified, which I love) and Kat last month at TxLA as they discussed fandoms, friendship, and writing this book together totally through chat and email – so good.
Ask for this April 2016 release at your local library or independent bookstore. And for more on real-life fandoms and cons (“Up Below” is a fictional TV show), look for Sam Maggs’ Fangirls’ Guide to the Galaxy which I recommended here.
And it’s National Readathon Day, too!! Share what you’re reading today with hashtag #Readathon2016.
My book talk: Brought together online by the fanfic and fanart that they create for a beloved TV show, two young women bond immediately and experience friendship’s highs and lows as other relationships falter.
Fanfic stories by Evie (short for Gena’s online name) that fill in the gaps in their favorite TV cop show inspire Finn (for Stephanie) to start drawing again. Sharing her art with Evie leads to numerous email and chat exchanges as recent college grad Finn and high school senior Evie find so much in common.
Big questions link into the backstory for their mutual admiration:
Should Finn really have followed boyfriend Charlie to California after college?
Is getting into an Ivy League school truly in Gena’s best interests?
Why won’t Gena stay in the room with cast members of “Up Below” when this fancon is the reason she and Finn traveled from opposite coasts to meet in person?
Told entirely in texts, chat windows, emails, fanfic, fanart, and journal entries, this coming of age story celebrates the passion of fandoms, the strength of women’s friendships, and the unlikelihood of completely outrunning one’s past.
traveling light and often,
avoiding entanglements, until…
Scam artist teen always on the move meets an artistic young man with two personalities and a near-psychic knowledge of what she’s running from – how can Clara resist trying to tap into what Elias “sees”?
But Clara never planned on falling for Elias or struggling to understand his dissociative identity disorder or making a road trip toward answers that could imperil them both.
Completely different worlds from the dystopia that Friesen brought us previously in Aquifer (my notes here), the Salem that calm Elias wanders through in his mind, the minutely ordered existence that angry Elias tries to catalog, and the everyday world that Clara longs to leave behind.
Is there ever just one personality inside you?
My book talk: Dual-personality Elias somehow knows more about her past than Clara wishes to recall, but their journey to verify the answers stretches both young people’s affection and endurance – and Elias’ hold on reality.
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