Books by Jeannine Garsee

THE UNQUIET by Jeannine Garsee
Released: July 1, 2012

"A shocking, spine-tingling ending proves that ghost stories never go out of style. (Supernatural thriller. 14 & up)"
Even small towns have urban legends. Read full book review >
SAY THE WORD by Jeannine Garsee
Released: March 1, 2009

Perfectionist Shawna hasn't seen her mother, Penny, in years, not since Penny left their Ohio home to live with another woman in New York. When she dies suddenly of a stroke, Shawna gets to know Penny's partner, Fran, and her two sons. Their relationship goes from accepting to awkward after Shawna learns that one of Fran's sons might be her blood brother. The custody battle that ensues puts Shawna in the position of go-between, in which she gets caught between her love for her brother and her father's use of the law to do the legal, yet unkind, thing. During this time of upheaval, Shawna also learns that her best friend is a lesbian. Garsee manages to give every character depth and dimension without falling into the trap of making the children too perfect and angelic and the adults imperfect to the point where the reader loses sympathy for them, save for Shawna's father. The details of Shawna's daily life sometimes slow down the plot, but it is because of these details that readers will believe Shawna's final transition from doormat to independent thinker. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2007

"first-person narrative often tells rather than shows, and Martha's accounting of her atrocious behavior without comprehension of her own culpability frequently renders her unsympathetic. Despite these flaws, though, this gritty story has great appeal. (Fiction. YA)"
Martha has spent 14 years following her alcoholic mom through one short-term job/house/relationship after another. The latest variation involves the Cleveland slums and abusive "Wa-ayne." Despite this, Martha befriends neighbor Jerome and finds solace in playing her cello. But when Jerome's cousin steals Martha's cello, she steals his drug money—and the ensuing violence kills Jerome's infant brother. Wracked by guilt, Martha feels completely lost when her mother overdoses. Enter a fairy-tale savior—a lawyer seeking atonement for his troubled past, who invites Martha into his wealthy, seemingly perfect family, where she reinvents herself as glamorous Gina. Living a lie backfires, and when Martha ends up back with her mother (whose sobriety doesn't last), she resents losing the good life. She dabbles in drugs, alcohol and sex and alienates everyone who cares about her, then experiences a rapid epiphany and turnaround. The Read full book review >