Synopses & Reviews
From the author of PERFECT and LUSH, another novel that tells it like it is.
The perils of dealing with a new stepfamily are illuminated with the same Blume-like heart and wit that Natasha Friend brought to PERFECT and LUSH.
"Shortly after her widower father announces he is remarrying, 13-year-old Evyn and her older brother move with him from their house in Maine to the Boston brownstone of their soon-to-be stepmother and six stepsiblings. For solace, Evyn confides in her dead mother, who died when Evyn was a baby, even though she admits she is really just talking to herself; in these conversations her mother advises her to let the bad stuff 'bounce' off her, but it's hard. Evyn misses her best friend who seems to have moved on very quickly, acquiring a new best friend and boyfriend and she hates both her too-eager stepmother and her private girls' school, where she becomes a target of the popular clique. Friend (Lush) throws in plenty of plot lines, including Evyn's crush on her oldest stepbrother and her belated discovery that the school's mean It girl is constantly criticized by her mother; some of these developments feel more convenient than organic. But the author has an unmistakable gift for exploring family dynamics, and even though Evyn doesn't immediately understand such exchanges as the constant bickering of the twins whose bedroom she shares, they will be instantly recognizable to many readers. The tender scenes have a genuine poignancy, as when Evyn and her dad share a heart-to-heart in the middle of night, or when Evyn's stepmother tells her about her own mother's death. In the end, these moving moments make for a story that's both real and heartfelt. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
With her trademark knowledge of what its like to be a girl, the author of "Perfect" and "Lush" pens an insightful, heartfelt story of a girl who must learn how to manage her life even when so many things are beyond her control.
About the Author
Award-winning author of Perfect, Natasha Friend was born in Norwich, New York. Upon receiving her B.A. in Psychology in 1994 from Bates College, Natasha went on to Clemson University to earn her M.A. in English in 1997. As a former camp director and English teacher, Natasha enjoys singing and song-lyric writing and plans to write more books in the future. Her first book, Perfect, poignantly probes the hushed struggles of body image, eating disorders, and grief. Perfect has won the Milkweed Prize for Childrens Literature and Book Senses Pick. When commenting on Perfect, Booklist wrote, Friend elevates what could have been just another problem novel to a truly worthwhile read of great interest to many girls.”
Natashas newest title, Lush, boldly delves into the tumultuous life and mind of a thirteen-year-old girl whose father is an alcoholic. Samantha must cope with sadness, secrecy, and shame in addition to her own teenage trials. Just when Samanthas skin toughens and emotions numb, it gets worse for her. Natasha wrote this book in an effort to spotlight the proverbial elephant in the room,” so that its presence is acknowledged and removed.
Natasha currently resides in Connecticut with her husband, Erik, and sons, Jack and Ben.