There’s a game my fellow Muses & I like to play from time to time. We call it “Guess the Muse” and it involves guessing which one of our brilliant reviewers has written a certain review. Yes, we are that predictable at times. And I’ve been known to gravitate towards books involving young people facing issues of all kinds. So for this review, I’m staying true to form.
Anna is in a very dark place. She enjoys nothing, feels nothing, even tastes nothing. Everything in her life is just there. So she dreams of an escape route, even going so far as to make a list of possible ways to commit suicide. And she makes a few attempts, although none of them come close to being successful. Until the very last one.
Depression and suicide in teens are always difficult topics to read about. But they’re important ones because they’re very real. This book does a good job of telling the story of one such teen in a way that’s entirely believable. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was hearing Anna’s story told from three different perspectives: Anna herself, her mother, and her best friend. It’s a reminder that these are issues that don’t just affect one person but instead everyone around that person.
Buy It Now: Detached
Young adult novels are all the rage these days for readers of all ages. Almost every topic has been covered, from the inevitable end of the world to bullying to love gone wrong. This first novel by Mary Jennifer Payne is both similar but different enough from others to make it worth reading.
Just as fifteen-year-old Edie is beginning to settle into a somewhat “normal” life, she and her mom, Sydney, must leave their home once again. Almost everything gets left behind, even Edie’s beloved cat, Peaches. She understands the reason they must flee yet another home, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Still, she’s a strong girl who goes along with her mom’s new plans willingly. However, when Sydney doesn’t come home after working her first shift at a new job, Edie fears the worst. Has their past caught up with them? Should Edie trust the authorities to help find her mom or is she utterly, completely on her own?
This was a quick, engaging book that had me sitting down to finish it in one evening. The author pulls you in from the moment Edie and her mom go on the run and holds you captive until the very end. It’s easy enough to guess that they’ve been victims of domestic abuse, most likely at the hands of Edie’s father. But there’s still enough of the unknown to make it an intriguing story. The characters are both likable and entirely believable, which is not very common in young adult literature these days. It’s also a fairly safe read for teens with just the hint of past and future violence. Add this one to your list of debut releases from promising new authors!
Buy It Now: Since You’ve Been Gone