Fight or flight
It’s all about facing the matters of the heart or keeping them buried forever in this week’s reads for young adults and teens.
Here We Are Now Author: Jasmine Warga Publisher: Balzer + Bray, fiction
TALIAH Abdallat lives and breathes music. Songs have always helped Tal ease the pain of never having known her father. Her mother won’t say a word about who her dad really was. But when Tal finds a shoebox full of old letters from Julian Oliver – yes, the indie rock star Julian Oliver – she begins to piece the story together. She writes to Julian, but after three years of radio silence, she’s given up hope.
Then one day, completely out of the blue, Julian shows up at her doorstep, and Tal doesn’t know whether to be furious or to throw herself into his arms. Before she can decide, he asks her to go on a trip with him to meet her longestranged family and to say goodbye to his father, her grandfather, who is dying.
Starlight Nights Author: Stacey Kade Publisher: Forge Books, fiction
AT 22, Calista Beckett is trying to overcome her early fame and fortune. The former “saviour of the world” on TV series Starlight is now at college, miles away from her former existence and beginning a new life, a normal life, one where she won’t make the same mistakes she made before.
Eric Stone played her older brother on Starlight. But she’s been in love with him pretty much since they kissed – her first kiss – while auditioning. When Eric shows up on campus out of the blue, Calista’s struck immediately by two things: first, in spite of everything that’s happened, she still feels something dangerous for him, and second, she’s absolutely determined not to let him ruin her life again. Only Eric’s not going away so easily.
Flight Season Author: Marie Marquardt Publisher: Wednesday Books, fiction
BACK when they were still strangers, TJ Carvalho witnessed the only moment in Vivi Flannigan’s life when she lost control entirely. Now, TJ can’t seem to erase that moment from his mind. Vivi doesn’t remember any of it, but she’s determined to leave it far behind.
But when Vivi returns home from her first year away at college, her big plans and TJ’s ambition to become a nurse land them both on the heart ward of a university hospital, facing a long and painful three months of glorified babysitting of Ángel, the problem patient on the ward. As it turns out, though, Ángel Solís has a thing or two to teach them about all those big plans, and the moments when love gets in their way.
Here So Far Away Author: Hadley Dyer Publisher: HarperTeen, fiction
FEISTY and fearless George Warren (given name: Frances, but no one calls her that) has never let life get too serious. Now that she’s about to be a senior, her plans include partying with her tight-knit group of friends and then getting the heck out of town after graduation.
But instead of owning her last year of secondary school, a fight with her best friend puts her on the outs of their social circle. If that wasn’t bad enough, George’s family has been facing hard times since her father, a police sergeant, got injured and might not be able to return to work, which puts George’s college plans in jeopardy. So when George meets Francis, an older guy who shares her name and her affinity for sarcastic banter, she’s thrown. If she lets herself, she’ll fall recklessly, hopelessly in love. But because of Francis’s age, she tells no one, and ends up losing almost everything, including herself.
Rebel With A Cupcake Author: Anna Mainwaring Publisher: Kids Can Press, fiction
JESOBEL Jones is bold and brash. She sees no need to apologise for her rambling house, her imperfect family, her single status ... or her weight. Jess is who she is. She makes her own cupcakes and she eats them, too. No regrets.
That is, until Own Clothes Day rolls around at school. Jess and her friends dedicate the requisite hours of planning to put together their outfits and do their hair and their makeup for the one day they are free from school uniforms.
But a wardrobe malfunction leaves Jess with a pair of leggings split open at the worst spot, and a mean girl calling her the one thing that’s never bothered her before: fat. The encounter shakes Jess’s formerly iron-clad confidence, and she starts to wonder if she’s been just a little too comfortable in her own skin.
Loser’s Bracket Author: Chris Crutcher Publisher: Greenwillow Books, fiction
WHEN it comes to family, Annie is in the loser’s bracket. While her foster parents are great (mostly), her birth family would not have been her first pick. And no matter how many times Annie tries to write them out of her life, she always gets sucked back into their drama.
But when a family argument breaks out and her nephew goes missing, Annie might be the only one who can get him back. With help from her friends and her foster brother, Annie puts the pieces of the puzzle together, determined to find her nephew and finally get him into a safe home.