True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolfe
The narrator of this story, La Vaughn, is someone you just want to be friends with. Just the way she thinks and talks makes you know she would listen to your problems the way a good friend should. She tells her own story in such a straightforward and honest way; you feel like you are right there with her. La Vaughn is determined to go to college, despite the financial obstacles that face her. Although her father was killed when she was young, her mother has been saving for her college education for what seems like forever.
And on top of all the school pressure she’s been feeling from the advanced science class she got moved to, La Vaughn is also struggling with lots of other big issues: friendship, love, family and religion. This is the second book in the Make Lemonade series and my favorite of the three. I recommend it to readers who like books about teenagers making hard decisions, fans of urban drama, and anyone wanting a quick and engaging read.