Anyone who loved predecessor Trash Can Days (2013) will keep reading to find out what happens next, but other readers may...

TRASH CAN NIGHTS

THE SAGA CONTINUES

From the Trash Can Days series , Vol. 2

Being a teenager—at least in this book—is a lot like having multiple personality disorder.

In the first chapter of the novel, Dorothy and Jake are typing the number 3407 into a calculator—it sort of spells “LOVE” upside down. By Chapter 20, Jake is TPing her house, and she’s stalking him with a pair of binoculars. Every major character goes through a personality change. Danny is selling drugs for the Raiders in one chapter and fighting the gang members in another. After a while, MPD starts to feel like a metaphor for the entire book. Steinkellner is capable of writing nearly flawless sentences (“Darrell snickered like a female weasel” is both funny and apt), but there are whole chapters of shockingly bad writing. Often, they’re bad on purpose. There are lengthy excerpts from songs and stories written by the students: “ ‘Never you mind that, my Handsome,’ Princess Dorothy said as she held Jacobim’s head against her ample bosom….” Unfortunately, they are not so bad they’re good. They’re just bad. The real problem is that reading the book feels exactly like being in junior high, complete with awful poetry.

Anyone who loved predecessor Trash Can Days (2013) will keep reading to find out what happens next, but other readers may find themselves looking for a story without quite so many mood swings. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-6923-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

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GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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This gripping page-turner will keep readers guessing until the final twist.

SHE'S GONE

Seventeen-year-old Hunter Gifford has no memories of the car accident he was in the night of the homecoming dance with Chloe Summers, his now-missing girlfriend.

In the small southern Kentucky city of Bentley, comments on social media condemn Hunter as responsible for Chloe’s disappearance. When he attends the community vigil for her, Chloe’s mother publicly accuses Hunter of obstructing the investigation. Hunter’s own mom died when he was 15 and his sister, Olivia, was 12. Their dad has awkwardly attempted to pull his weight as a solo parent, and Hunter has stepped in and nurtured Livvy. Small but mighty Livvy is an ardent defender of her brother and is fiercely in love with her girlfriend, Gabriela. To make things worse, childhood friend Daniel informs Hunter that he’s making a true-crime documentary about Chloe. Hunter is upset, especially since it makes him look like a prime suspect, and a subsequent dramatic event draws more attention to the video. Hunter and Chloe met in creative writing club, and he knew she kept a journal—but it’s missing. Enter the sleuthing team of Hunter, Livvy, and Gabriela, who hatch a plan to find it. The dynamics between Hunter and Livvy and Livvy and Gabriela are endearing and will charm readers, who will root for them to solve the well-executed mystery. Main characters default to White; Gabriela is Mexican American.

This gripping page-turner will keep readers guessing until the final twist. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72825-420-3

Page Count: 360

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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