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STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

SCARS book cover

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself--before it's too late.

Awards: #1 in the Top 10 ALA Quick Picks, ALA's Rainbow List, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, Staff Pick for Teaching Tolerance.

Yes, it's my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

HUNTED book cover

Caitlyn, a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power at all can kill her, must decide between saving herself or saving the world.

Awards: A finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.

PARALLEL VISIONS book cover

Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, and a schoolmate killing herself, Kate must trigger more attacks--but that could kill her.

Awards: 2013 Gold Winner, Wise Bear Digital Awards, YA Paranormal category.

STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

See Previous Book

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Teen Books That Have Something to Say


Nothing to Lose

Review

Nothing to Lose
by Alex Flinn
HarperTempest/HarperCollins,(2004)
ISBN-10: 0060517506

My rating:



I shouldn't have come back to Miami.
The cop at the Whack-a-Mole game is a fat one. He dips his elephant ear into its cup of chocolate sauce like a buzzard with a tasty slice of roadkill. When his attention's on that, I approach.
"Give it a try, Officer?"
I have to shout over the screams from the Tilt-a-Whirl. That makes it easier to keep my voice steady. I've been escaping cops' notice for a year now—since I ran away. Secret is, don't avoid them and act casual.
--Nothing to Lose, Alex Flinn, p. 3.

Sixteen-year-old Michael Day ran away from home and his abusive stepfather a year ago, and joined a carnival. Now he's back in Miami—where his mother is awaiting trial for the murder of his stepfather. Michael is pulled between doing the right thing, and his fear of being caught and brought back into the whole mess. He knows he has to face his past—but first he has to find the strength to do it.

This is a fast-moving, gripping book, told in chapters alternating between this year (when he knows his mother is facing trial) and the previous year (all the events that led up to this moment). There is excellent movement between the past and the present, with tension building up in each, and leading into each other. The chapters placed this way are very effective.

The novel is a rivetting, emotional story, with a main character who is very likable, believable, and fully rounded. It feels like the author got right inside Michael. The mother is not as fully developed, and so slightly less believable, as is Kristie—but the novel is so well crafted overall that this is a minor thing.

The plot carries incredible momentum, and this is helped by Michael being such a strong character, one we truly care about and root for. And there are great sensory details and beautiful language sprinkled throughout the writing.

At times it felt like some characters were placed a little too conveniently, understanding Michael because of their own backgrounds--but it still worked. And there were enough positive moments and kind happenings to offset the painful ones.

There's a twist in the plot, which may surprise some readers. The novel is totally absorbing—a not-to-be-put-down read. Gripping and utterly enjoyable.


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