Get a free SCARS short story. Sign up for News & Goodies from YA Author Cheryl Rainfield



My Books
See Next Book
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

Love my books?
Join my Street Team!

You'll have my deep gratitude, hear book news first, get swag, and enter to win private contests

Teen Books That Have Something to Say


The Long Night of Leo and Bree

Review

The Long Night of Leo and Bree
by Ellen Wittlinger
Simon & Schuster,(October 2003)
ISBN-10: 0689835647
ISBN-13: 9780689863356

My rating:



8:00 P.M.
Leo
She's screaming at me again, like I'm deaf, like I'm stupid, like I don't know what day this is. I knew she'd be crazier than usual today—that's why I got up early and went to work at the garage before she woke up this morning. I figured there was no sense taking a chance—the more I'm around her today, the more likely I'll start seeing those pictures flashing in my mind again.
--The Long Night of Leo and Bree, Ellen Wittlinger, p. 1

This is a gripping book about two teens, Leo and Bree, and how their lives intersect one fateful evening. Leo's sister was murdered a few years earlier, and his family never recovered. His father left, his mother alternates between alcoholic binges and freakouts, and Leo himself is angry and troubled. Bree has a controlling mother and boyfriend, and wants to escape their grasp over her. So she heads out a rougher area of town, defying her mother—the same area of town that Leo is angrily driving through, wanting to escape the memories of his murdered sister and his mother's blame.

Leo spots Bree and abducts her, shoves her into his car and takes her back to his place. And there, they spend a long night together, both hurting and afraid, with Leo caught up in his rage and mixed-up thinking about his sister. As the night slowly passes, Bree is able to make Leo see her as a person in her own right, a real person that he shouldn't hurt.

Wittlinger skillfully makes us sympathize with Leo, at least initially, and that sympathy and understanding of the pain he comes from is enough to carry through for the rest of the novel, reminding us that he is not a monster, but a very troubled, angry teen. She (a little less successfully) also shows us Bree's fear and ways she tries to free herself.

For each chapter, for each time in the day, we are taken through the minds and emotions of both Leo and Bree, and we develop empathy for both. Often books that move between viewpoints don't work well, but this one is a masterpiece of two distinct viewpoints propelling the story forward. There are only a few brief moments we are jarred out of the story, and they don't keep the reader from diving back into the compelling story.

This novel takes us through the emotions and minds of both protagonists—two distinct teens, with very different lives. Gradually, we see Bree help Leo find some peace over his murdered sister, and Leo help Bree realize she can stand up to her boyfriend and mother. There is a nice balance of momentum, which keeps you riveted to the pages, and internal exploration.

The novel wraps up nicely—the reader is left wanting more, in a good way. An intense, gripping, enjoyable read.

-Added July 21, 2003


Want more books?

Go back to Dealing With Life: As It Comes to find great Teen Books That Have Something to Say.

Or, go to Teen Books That Have Something to Say to see all of the books.