While the voice is authentic, this book is an experience, not a crafted narrative.

DEAR NOBODY

THE TRUE DIARY OF MARY ROSE

The posthumous memoir of a drug-abusing teen who died of cystic fibrosis.

Living in suburban Pennsylvania in the late 1990s, Mary Rose uses her journal, addressed to “Dear Nobody,” to chronicle her daily life: She’s bored, frequently on the outs with her mom and searching for something. She hangs out at the nearby rope swing with other teens, drinking and doing drugs, getting arrested and hoping to find a friend—or even better, a boyfriend. But things change when Mary Rose has to deal with something she isn’t facing head-on: She suffers from cystic fibrosis, and her condition is deteriorating due to her drinking and drug use. Mary Rose attempts to turn over a new leaf only to fall back into drinking and suffers a new tragedy. Yet through it all, as her body begins to give out, Mary Rose strives for peace through religion and searches for a connection with other people. Edited from Mary Rose’s journals after her death, this memoir necessarily suffers from the absence of an authorial hand, shifting abruptly from Mary Rose’s party-girl ways to her medical suffering. Mary Rose evidently never had a chance to reflect on the total arc of her written narrative, forcing readers to glean meaning from the disparate, angst-filled entries or just go with the flow.

While the voice is authentic, this book is an experience, not a crafted narrative. (Memoir. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4022-8758-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER

Testing the strength of family bonds is never easy—and lies make it even harder.

Daunis is trying to balance her two communities: The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, teen is constantly adapting, whether she is with her Anishinaabe father’s side of the family, the Firekeepers, or the Fontaines, her White mother’s wealthy relatives. She has grand plans for her future, as she wants to become a doctor, but has decided to defer her plans to go away for college because her maternal grandmother is recovering from a stroke. Daunis spends her free time playing hockey with her Firekeeper half brother, Levi, but tragedy strikes, and she discovers someone is selling a dangerous new form of meth—and the bodies are piling up. While trying to figure out who is behind this, Daunis pulls away from her family, covering up where she has been and what she has been doing. While dealing with tough topics like rape, drugs, racism, and death, this book balances the darkness with Ojibwe cultural texture and well-crafted characters. Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what’s going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief.

A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76656-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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