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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


Bringing Up the Bones

Review

Bringing Up the Bones
by Lara M. Zeises
Delacorte,(2002)
ISBN-10: 0385730012

My rating:



I am invisible in my chair. I am eyes peering out from nothingness. My ears ache from the constant noise; my jaw is tired from holding its constant clench. The air is thick with fruity hair spray, Drakkar Noir, and malt liquor. The combination is making me queasy. I think I've served my time.
--Bringing up the Bones, Lara M. Zeises, p. 23-24.

18-year-old Bridget loved Benji, her best friend, all her life, and wanted to have more than just a friendship with him—but he didn't love her the same way. After years of asking him, she finally got him to try. Their relationship lasted nine months (about seven of them a long-distance relationship), and then he broke up with her. A few weeks later, he was dead. Bridget can't get over him, over the pain this has left her, and all her unresolved feelings. She goes into a deep depression.

One night at a party, about a year after Benji's death, she's drawn to an attractive, sweet guy, and has sex with him. Immediately afterwards, she feels like she's cheated on Benji. She develops a relationship with Jasper, and though he is often kind and caring, they go through a lot of rockiness. It doesn't help that Bridget can't even tell him that Benji is dead; the memory of Benji is like a shadow that follows her everywhere. Her relationship with her emotionally absent mother is even worse, though her rich step-father clearly loves her, as does Benji's family, and her one good friend. Bridget tries to hide herself and her pain away from everyone, including her therapist.

Gradually, however, Bridget begins to work through some of the emotions she carries around Benji, and comes to realize that all her life she tried to become what others wanted her to be—not what she was.

This is a gripping book, an emotional rollercoaster of unrequited love, the pain of death, the bumps in relationships, and healing. The intense emotion draws the story forward, and is beautifully depicted. Bridget is, for much of the book, caught up in her delusions, grief, and pain, but we gradually see her make movement toward healing, and the tenderness of some moments with Jasper, some of her supportive relationships, and many of her realizations help balance this out. While Bridget often appears to be very self-absorbed and caught up in her own emotional world, she reveals other sides to herself through her being a support to Benji's younger sister, and through some moments with Jasper. Although her need to delude herself about Benji becomes irritating at times, her depth and amount of looking inward help make her a likeable and sympathizable character.

The writing is intense, with stunning descriptions of emotional turmoil, a good use of the various senses, and well-crafted prose. The ending was, for me, abrupt, disappointing, and made me feel cheated, although many others may enjoy the ending. The talented, gripping writing of the rest of the story more than made up for the disappointment I felt in the bittersweet ending. Readers who know depression, a difficult break-up, or the death of a loved one will be able to relate. This is a powerful read. Recommended.

-Added August 01, 2003


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