Sometimes being popular is an act of survival.
Wendy’s friends provide a wall of protection from the accusing stares and even physical violence that come her way as a result of her police-officer father’s crimes. But when high jinks and spirited pranks turn hateful and even illegal, the white teen finds herself caught between what is right and what is easiest. To make her junior year even more confusing, the Catholic school she’s attended forever is scheduled to be closed down at the end of the year. Wendy will have to become acclimated to a public school for her senior year. Then there’s the fact that her mother is working overtime on a regular basis, and Wendy can’t figure out how to deal with her father’s absence. Foley (The Carnival at Bray, 2014) delivers a compelling story about a confused girl who remains likable even as she follows through on bad choices and keeps mistaking carelessness for connection. The sheer number of tragic events does detract from the overall experience of the book, but the realistic, fully fleshed characters, some of whom are described as people of color, help keep the narrative enjoyable. The city of Chicago itself is its own fascinating character.
A riveting tale about a troubled teen finding her way through the wilds of high school life. (Fiction. 14-18)