Still Life with Tornado – A.S. King

28588459Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Abuse, Magical Realism, Family


BLURB:

Sarah can’t draw. This is a problem, because as long as she can remember, she has “done the art.” She thinks she’s having an existential crisis. And she might be right; she does keep running into past and future versions of herself as she explores the urban ruins of Philadelphia. Or maybe she’s finally waking up to the tornado that is her family, the tornado that six years ago sent her once-beloved older brother flying across the country for a reason she can’t quite recall. After decades of staying together “for the kids” and building a family on a foundation of lies and violence, Sarah’s parents have reached the end. Now Sarah must come to grips with years spent sleepwalking in the ruins of their toxic marriage. As Sarah herself often observes, nothing about her pain is remotely original —and yet it still hurts. Continue reading

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Review: Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

25528801Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: March 15th 2015
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Abuse, Sports, Friendship

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BLURB:

“I love you,” Polly says suddenly when I’m almost to the door.

“I know,” I say.

Hermione Winters has been a flyer. She’s been captain of her cheerleading team. The envied girlfriend and the undisputed queen of her school. Now it’s her last year and those days and those labels are fading fast. In a few months she’ll be a different person. She thinks she’s ready for whatever comes next.

But then someone puts something in her drink at a party, and in an instant she finds herself wearing new labels, ones she never imagined:

Victim. Survivor. That raped girl.

Even though this was never the future she imagined, one essential thing remains unchanged: Hermione can still call herself Polly Olivier’s best friend, and that may be the truest label of all.

Heartbreaking and empowering, Exit, Pursued by a Bear is the story of transcendent friendship in the face of trauma.

“I love you,” I say, because I really, really do.

“I know,” says Polly. Continue reading