The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

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The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

This book takes place entirely in a hospital. A teen who lost his entire family in a car crash has made the hospital his home. He has a job, friends, and regular visiting hours with patients.  All he has to do is keep running from Death and he’ll be fine. His piecemeal life is interrupted by the arrival of another teen who has been bullied and burned over half of his body.

This book has intense relationships and an upbeat tempo, while the entire tale takes place under the cloud of looming Death – literally and metaphorically. It is in a hospital after all. Although the story is unique and well written I actually didn’t like this book, not enough changes in scenery for my taste – but you might!

 

Review by Sarah Rosenkrantz

We Were Liars by e. Lockhart

we were liars

We Were Liars by e. Lockhart

In some families telling the truth is valued. In others it’s doing whatever it takes to move on and move ahead. The Sinclairs are a wealthy clan who ‘summer’ on their own private island where the cousins frolick all the day long. But something has gone terribly wrong and Cadence can’t put it all together. She remembers waking up on the beach, being in the hospital, taking pills and seeing a therapist, but the rest of it is a mess from day to day. She writes herself post-its to try to keep track. Meanwhile The Family seems to crumble before her eyes, and none of it makes a whole lot of sense in the big picture.

Cadence can’t figure out why her mom is always weepy, why her cousin won’t write her back, and how the boy she has loved her whole life is slipping away from her before they even get to know one another off the island.

This book is a mystery that reveals itself along the way. Fans of 13 Reasons Why and Jodi Picoult books will enjoy the journey. It worked for me.

Review by Sarah Rosenkrantz

Untwine by Edwidge Danticat

UntwineUntwine by Edwidge Danticat
Untwine is a story of tragedy and rebirth. The main characters are twins who havealways had unique personalities and ways of seeing the world, but also share an unbreakable connection and even their own language. They were born holding each others hand, and in the car accident that claims one of their lives, they hold on until the end.
So what happens when a twin looses her other half? Will her parents go through with the divorce they were planning up until that moment? Will loving someone ever feel safe or even possible? And what about the secrets that they never had time to share? How can you look into a casket that feels like looking into a mirror?
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This story will appeal to readers who seek out books about tragedy and healing. Fans of Jodi Picoult and Sharon Draper will appreciate the emotional twists. Danticat is a storyteller of great skill who hides beauty in the midst of great sadness.
Review by Sarah Rosenkrantz