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Jersey Tomatoes Are the Bestby Maria Padian
Synopses & Reviews
This is a hilarious and heartbreaking story of two teen girls and the summer when everything changes for them. Both Henry and Eva are New Jersey natives and excellent athletes: Henry's a master on the tennis court and Eva is a graceful ballerina. When opportunity knocks for both of them the summer before their junior year in high school they throw open the door: Henry sees freedom from her overbearing father and a chance to build her talents on the court. Eva sees the chance to be the best as well as even more pressure to be graceful, lighter, more perfect on the dancefloor.
Soon, Eva's obsession with physical perfection leads her down the path to anorexia, and her health issues overwhelm everything else. But through it all these two best friends know that Jersey Tomatoes are the Best, and nothing will come between them no matter the distance.
"Almost 16, Eva and Henry (don't ever call her Henriette) have been best friends forever, with a shared understanding of demanding parents and a deep love for their home state of New Jersey. This summer, Eva is accepted to the prestigious New York School of Dance, while Henry talks her father/coach into letting her attend a tennis academy in Florida. Each girl has a dangerous voice in her head. For Henry it's that of her father, whose desire to win has Henry using every psychological trick in the book to defeat her opponents; over the summer she falls in love and learns to count on her tennis skills, instead. Eva's voice is an eating disorder that slowly whittles away at her, resulting in near-deadly consequences before she accepts the gravity of her illness. With complex characters, a wrenchingly realistic portrayal of anorexia, and a friendship that is the true heart of the story, Padian (Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress) offers a well-wrought tale that makes it crystal clear that New Jersey has much more to offer than a certain reality show might suggest. Ages 12 — up. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
MARIA PADIAN has worked as a commercial radio news reporter, an essayist for public radio, a press secreterary for a U.S. Congressman, and a freelance writer. An avid tennis player, gardner, skiier, and hiker, she is also the mother of two teenagers, who, along with their friends, have provided countless ideas, inspirations, and insights for her writing. A graduate of Middlebury College, she has also attended the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Oxford University, and the University of Virginia. She lives with her children and husband, and an Australian Shepherd, in Maine where she is at work on a new novel.
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