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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

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Teen Books That Have Something to Say


Falling Through Darkness

Review

Falling Through Darkness
by Carolyn MacCullough
Millbrook Press,(September 2003)
ISBN-10: 0761319344

My rating:



Sometimes she stays in bed for an hour, smoking, listening to the world outside her window. Her father always calls around noon, just to check in, as he invariably phrases it, to ask about her plans for the day. On the phone, his voice is careful, as if the telephone is an instrument that could startle her.
He always thinks he's being so quiet as he moves around the pre-dawn house, shutting doors gently behind him, whistling only a few notes before he breaks off in mid-song, an apologetic silence following. He doesn't know that she is awake, hours, sometimes half the night, listening for a sound that will never come again. A whistle, faint and sweet, two notes.
--Falling Through Darkness Carolyn MacCullough, p. 3-4.

Seventeen-year-old Ginny has been living in depression, anger, and pain ever since the car crash which killed her boyfriend, Aiden, but which she survived. She can't muster up the energy to do the things she used to, or to even care. So many things trigger memories of Aiden, and of the way they used to be. Ginny fluidly moves in and out of the present and the past; sometimes the past seems more real to her.

Though her father clearly loves her, Ginny doesn't feel she can talk to him about the night Aiden died. Instead, she looks outside her family and her closest friend for someone she can confide in, or for an interest which will distract her from her thoughts of Aiden, and she finds both in the new tenant, Caleb, who moves into their house. Ginny feels the heaviness, the secrets that Caleb himself carries. As Ginny keeps moving from present to past to present again, she slowly faces all the things that she's been trying to keep from herself.

Most of the characters feel multi-layered, vivid, and real in this book. The story is written with a beautiful sense of rhythm and language, gripping emotion, and fresh phrases. The movement between past and present is seamless and well crafted, and the secrets that slowly unfold make you want to read on. We are given more and more pieces about the night Aiden died, until it all makes sense. There is also a nice balance of grief and anger, and compassion and love.

There are only a few small things which detract from the power of the book. Ginny's mother appears in a lengthy scene, but the issues raised are not dealt with again, nor, really, is her mother. Merry and her boyfriend often feel like flat characters. Aiden's almost hero-status in the beginning of the relationship seems a little unreal. And a child that Ginny worked with through her job at the library brings up some information that seems to suggest far more than is ever picked up on again. But these things do not interfere with the pleasure of a story well told.

This is a moving, powerful book about dealing with suicide, relationship abuse, and death, and with good relationships, healing, and hope. The skill of the writing will keep you glued to the story; it is involving, emotionally satisfying, and very well written. A great read!

-Added February 17, 2004


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