Synopses & Reviews
For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce theyre sending her brother to an institutionwithout consulting herDaisys furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.
But one person wont let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How do you know when to hold on and whenand howto let go?
The Sound of Letting Go is deeply moving, fiercely honest, and always surprising. Stasia Ward Kehoes characters are so real and complex, you wont want to let them go at the end. I loved this book!”Barbara Dee, author of Solving Zoe, This is Me From Now On, Just Another Day in My Insanely Real Life, and Trauma Queen
Achingly beautiful, The Sound of Letting Go takes readers down a dangerous path while touching the heart and encouraging hope.”Elana Johnson, author of Possession, Surrender, and Abandon
Told in verse that is at once delicate and strong, lyrical and honest, Stasia Kehoes The Sound of Letting Go is a moving contemporary story of the intense push and pull between the responsibility of family and the freedom of dreams.”Jessi Kirby, author of Moonglass, In Honor, and Golden
With captivating verse and a lyrical love story to match, The Sound of Letting Go will keep you hanging on, breathless and enchanted, until the very last page.”Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess, Ten and the forthcoming 3:59 and the Dont Get Mad” series
Soulful and stunning, this book has captured my heart. Its one of those tragic melodies you never want to end, a tribute to the damning and redemptive power of music.”Jessica Martinez, author of Virtuosity and The Space Between Us
The Sound of Letting Go draws you honestly into the turbulent ambivalence of life with a severely challenged sibling, while never short-shrifting Daisy's individual coming-of-age journey. The music of Stasia Kehoe's beautifully flawed characters will resonate in your mind long after you finish reading her book.”Elise Allen, author of Populazzi, co-author of the Elixir series with Hilary Duff
"Zarr's involving yet somewhat anti-climactic debut opens with a bang as Deanna Lambert recalls the moment that caused everything in her life to change: 'I was thirteen when my dad caught me with Tommy Webber in the back of Tommy's Buick.' Following this incident with the then 17-year-old boy, Deanna is shunned by her father and labeled 'the school slut' by her peers. In her small town, the tag sticks, and continues to define Deanna's life for the next three years. Now 16, she lands a summer job only to discover that Tommy works at the same place. But seeing him sparks flashbacks, and through them Zarr give readers insight into how Deanna was drawn to Tommy, and the complicated feelings the teen experienced ('I don't mean anything corny like I fell in love.... It was more a feeling like when I'd get picked first for volleyball'). The author credibly explores Deanna's confusion about how good it feels to be with Tommy and her thoughts that she should be feeling something else. The narrative is less credible when she erupts at her best (girl)friend, Lee paving the way for Deanna to kiss her longtime best friend, Jason (who is also Lee's boyfriend) and also when Deanna confronts Tommy after a makeout session. Although the loose ends are tied up at the end, readers may find Deanna's character somewhat contradictory. But Zarr convincingly creates a teen trapped by small-minded people in a small town. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[An] emotionally charged story, with language appropriate to the intensity of the feelings." School Library Journal
"This is a thoughtful, well-executed debut from an author who understands how to write for teens." Booklist
"Daily transformations from punk to avant-garde highlight Cat's complex personality and style; her New York world is so tangible from Banash's text...[her] unhealthy relationship with her mother is highlighted in startling flashbacks of control and cruelty. A bevy of bizarrely realistic characters round out the story; Sara, Alexa, Julian and more all strive for lives that balance their own wishes with those of their parents."--VOYA
"Subtle, sad and, eventually hopeful."--Kirkus
PRAISE FOR STASIA'S FIRST BOOK, AUDITION:
"Sara's coming-of-age tale is one of passion and romance, colliding with her vision of whom she ultimately hopes to be. Her confused feelings are believably expressed and her attitudes toward her friends and the adults in her life will ring true, especially to...readers who are also involved in the performing arts." --School Library Journal "The author, who has a performing and choreography background, stages Sara's dance world clearly through her spare verse, from ballet moves and body aches to studio drama... readers will empathize as she struggles with everything from sore shins to Rem's fickleness and whether she wants to continue dancing." --Publisher's Weekly "Fans of Ellen Hopkins and Sonya Sones will enjoy this cautionary, detail-oriented look at the backstage world of the ballet and cheer for Sara as she finally makes her own decisions about her commitment to dance and her future." --Booklist "...the pages turn quickly once the reader gets into the rhythm of the words and Sara's story. Kehoe can turn an evocative phrase, like the way she describes the "encrusted hairspray" of the dancer, or the minimalist way in which she describes a dancer's eating disorder..." --Huffington Post
"Sara Zarr's first novel tells an engrossing story with exquisitely drawn characters. Story of a Girl
is the rarest mix: It's both impossible to put down and the kind of book that stays with you long after you've finished reading it."
--John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska
"This is a hell of a good book."
--Chris Crutcher, author of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
"Throws a sharp right hook at the assumptions people make about girls who have sex early."
--E. Lockhart, author of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and The Boyfriend List
"A heartfelt, realistic novel about being defined by one moment, one choice, and then having to reinvent who you are....An evocative, thoughtful read from a debut author to watch."
--Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Jingle Dancer and Indian Shoes
* "Realistic fiction at its best. Zarr's storytelling is excellent....An emotionally charged story...recommended for both teens and the adults who live and work with them."
--School Library Journal (starred review)
"The gritty and emotionally charged story pulses like the rapid heartbeat of a girl in distress."--Booklist
"A wild and startling ride."--Rachel Cohn, co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
"White Lines is sometimes heartbreaking, occasionally hilarious, and always impossible to set aside."--Nick Burd, author of The Vast Field of Ordinary
"Banash captures the pulsing atmospherics of the '80s club scene in minute and perfect detail, juxtaposing her descriptions of the outlandish fashions and stylized personalities against evocative, lyrical metaphors of Cat's brittle inner life. The effect is emotionally lashing; readers can't miss the note of desperation, sadness, and insecurity that threads through and in fact drives the relentless party scene for all the players, or that Cat's only moments of happiness come when she's high. The steadying presences of Sara and a new boy bring Cat back from the edge to end her story with a note of hope; give this to fans of Francesca Lia Block to see what Weetzie might have looked like on the East Coast."--BCCB
When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother's best friend Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of school slut, she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, The Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption.
After being caught in a compromising situation with her brother's best friend in the back of a car, Deanna's life is forever changed as vicious rumors begin to spread all over town and ruin her reputation.
In the three years since her father caught her in the back seat of a car with an older boy, sixteen-year-old Deanna's life at home and school has been a nightmare, but while dreaming of escaping with her brother and his family, she discovers the power offorgiveness.In the three years since her father caught her in the back seat of a car with an older boy, sixteen-year-old Deanna's life at home and school has been a nightmare, but while dreaming of escaping with her brother and his family, she discovers the power offorgiveness.
A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream—she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control. Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away.
I was thirteen when my dad caught me with Tommy Webber in the back of Tommy's Buick, parked next to the old Chart House down in Montara at eleven o'clock on a Tuesday night. Tommy was seventeen and the supposed friend of my brother, Darren.
I didn't love him.
I'm not sure I even liked him.
In a moment, Deanna Lambert's teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of "school slut," Deanna longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom, and striking emotion, Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany, and redemption.
Anna and Abel couldn't be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It's a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his "enemies" begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she?
Award-winning author Antonia Michaelis moves in a bold new direction with her latest novel: a dark, haunting, contemporary story that is part mystery, part romance, and part melodrama.
When Imogen, a sixteen-year-old black belt in Tae Kwon Do, freezes during a holdup at a local diner, the gunman is shot and killed by the police, and she blames herself for his death. Before the shooting, she believed that her black belt made her stronger than everyone elsemore responsible, more capable. But now that her sense of self has been challenged, she must rebuild her life, a process that includes redefining her relationship with her family and navigating first love with the boy who was at the diner with her during the shoot-out. With action, romance, and a complex heroine, Bruised
introduces a vibrant new voice to the young adult worldfull of dark humor and hard truths.
Praise for Bruised
"Offering psychological drama and an introduction to martial-arts code of behavior, the book has a meaningful message about power, control, and the internal bruises carried by victims."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Her story is compelling, and readers will stick with her as new insights bring about a believable shift in her behavior
This distinctive debut will be appreciated by fans of contemporary fiction."
"This layered first novel explores the aftereffects of the trauma, convincingly depicting why Imogen blames herself for a situation over which she had no control. Skilton also sensitively depicts the bond and tentative romance that develops between Imogen and Ricky. The main story line about Imogens struggle to come to terms with what she did (and did not do) is nuanced and honest."
"This is a useful exploration of the difference between fantasy-style omnipotence and the complexity of real-life human strength."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Skilton does a fine job capturing how a psychological process after trauma can take time and might manifest in unique, sometimes unexpected, ways."
"Poignant and emotionally raw at times and humorous at others, this debut novel adeptly portrays a shattered life in the wake of an unexpected act of violence and the road back to normalcy."
School Library Journal
"Here is a writer to watch who handles complex issues with sensitivity in the vein of Deb Caletti and Sarah Dessen."
About the Author
Sara Zarr was raised in San Francisco, went to high school in Pacifica, California, and now lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the author of Story of a Girl and can be found on the web at www.sarazarr.com.