By Lauren Myracle
Classification: YA Literature
Genre: Realistic fiction, chick lit
Age Level: 13+
Subjects: Friendship, high school
Reader’s Annotation: Tenth-graders Zoe, Madigan and Angela have been friends since childhood and hope to remain close as they grow up but the challenges of high school threaten their friendships as the girls cope with crushes, parents, rivals and teachers and begin to keep secrets from one another.
Summary: Zoe has a crush on her teacher, who in turn seems to be paying an unseemly amount of attention to Zoe. Madigan befriends a long-time rival and finds herself in over her head when her “friend’s” loyalty is tested. Angela struggles to see the best in herself after being treated badly by her boyfriend. And these three childhood friends have developed the bad habit of keeping secrets from one another, precisely at a time when true friends are the one thing they each need. The story unfolds entirely via instant messages, the girls’ primary means of communication outside of school.
Notes: This book reads like a hybrid of a diary and a play, and has the delicious, absorbing feeling of eavesdropping on a good conversation.
This is a great read for a snow day, especially prior to Valentine’s Day. (Disclaimer: My recommendation is not so fervent that any one in Virginia should now attempt to secure a copy to get through tomorrow’s storm . Just keep it in mind for next time.)
In three interlaced stories from YA authors John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, a southbound train gets stuck in the snow outside a small North Carolina town. Worse yet, it’s Christmas Eve. The passengers quickly get cabin fever and venture out into the cold, which is when the fun begins.
Jubilee is on her way to Florida to spend Christmas with her grandparents because her parents have been arrested in a retail riot involving ceramic Christmas collectibles. On the train, she meets handsome and morose Jeb who is anxious to get back to his girlfriend, and a squad of cheerleaders on their way to a regional competition. When the train is lodged in the snow, Jubilee spots a roadside Waffle House and braves the blizzard for some food, warmth and sanity. At the Waffle House, she meets Stuart and suddenly her Christmas misfortunes start to turn around. Meanwhile, Tobin and JP head out in the storm in response to Waffle House employee Kuen’s summons: bring Twister and hang out with a restaurant full of cheerleaders. Tobin’s best friend Angie tags along for the adventure, and finds “a cheertastic Christmas miracle” just may be in store for her. And on the other side of town, Addie just wants to prove to everyone and herself that she’s not as self-absorbed as she sometimes seems. When the perfect opportunity arises, she has to decide which is more important—her own love crisis or helping a friend as promised.
An adorable, hilarious romantic comedy and a perfect winter read. Just add hot chocolate!