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FOR NOW by Gayle Friesen

FOR NOW

By Gayle Friesen

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-55453-132-5
Publisher: Kids Can

Readers who wondered what happened next to the fractured family in Friesen’s Losing Forever (2002) will be pleased to pick up with their lives. Narrator Jes still struggles with her feelings as she copes with her mom’s unexpected pregnancy, too-perfect step-sister Angela, best friend Dell’s unhealthy choices and her own (not particularly comfortable) budding relationship with the boy next door. Readers unfamiliar with Jes’s world may feel at a loss initially, but Friesen does a good job of reprising Jes’s history and introducing all the players. While the narration is snappy and occasionally snarky, it sometimes seems like there is more problem than novel. There’s a divorcing psychology teacher who breaks down in class, an unexpected introduction to her dad’s new love interest (and her two kids) on Christmas day, Dell’s near rape and Angela’s confession of surviving a similar attack, as well as a revelation about Angela’s parentage. The climactic scene in the hospital brings the core group together, and while their rapprochement is somewhat predictable, it’s definitely a feel-good moment. Realistic and engaging. (Fiction. 12-15)