THE WORD FOR YES by Claire Needell
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 14 - 18
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In the aftermath of a devastating incident at a high school party, three sisters struggle to help one another.

Melanie has always resented her older sister Erika, a beautiful wunderkind with few social skills. Now that the eldest sister, Jan, has left for college, they’re left with a mother lost in her work and in her new life after leaving their father. Under the weight of these new growing pains, Melanie is overrun with emotions, and her bullying of Erika has never been harsher. But when Erika invites Melanie and her friends to a Halloween party, everything changes. Erika discovers Melanie unconscious and half-dressed on a bearskin rug. As blurry memories come together, a close friend’s intentions are questioned. Embarrassed, Melanie makes it clear to Erika that no one is to ever find out. And at college, Jan has too many problems to help either of them. Each sister must find her way back to the others before she can truly heal. Melanie, Erika, and those orbiting them thrum with all the sharp edges and beauty of real people—no one is simple or predictable. Their story, much like real life, isn’t clear-cut or easy to read, but it’s very, very important.

An engrossing story proving the hard truth that it isn’t always strangers who hurt us the worst of all. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-236049-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2015


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