Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

From Booklist

Thirteen-year-old Lacey hopes that this summer day will be a new start. She has gotten her mother a job at Winn-Dixie because they desperately need the money, and Lacey will be following in her aunt Linda�s footsteps by working at the public library. Lacey craves an opportunity to be �normal,� to flirt with her neighbor Aaron and not have to watch over Momma, who seems so much better these days. But the day quickly spins out of control when Momma disappears. Seeing things afresh through Aaron�s eyes as they search for her together, Lacey comes to realize that it�s impossible for her to help her mother on her own. This gripping story by the author of The Chosen One (2009) is as suspenseful as it is painful. Lacey�s love for her mother, mixed with resentment and frustration over Momma�s mental illness, is thoroughly believable (if a little sophisticated). Provocatively dark and at times downright scary, this novel will have readers rushing to the unforeseen, achingly authentic conclusion. Grades .6-9. –Melissa Moore
Review –
 
Story deals with mental illness and the effects it has on the one that is sick but much more with the caregiver.  In this story the  job falls to a young teenage girl and I felt so bad for her because she so wanted her mother to get better and “be normal” so that her life could be normal too.  The ending is chilling and left me with goosebumps. 
 
It is a fast read and well worth reading.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up–Bianca Piper, 17, is smart, outspoken, and loyal to her two beautiful friends. She is also convinced that she is unattractive, an opinion confirmed when school hottie and “man-whore” Wesley Rush calls her a “Duff” (designated ugly fat friend). Bianca responds by throwing her Cherry Coke in his face, but when her mother decides to divorce her father, who then lapses into drinking again, she becomes involved in a secretive sexual relationship with Wesley to take her mind off her problems. Bianca finds that as their love/hate relationship continues, she is falling in love with him. Not surprisingly, Wesley, who has family problems of his own, reciprocates and announces that, although he doesn’t chase girls, he is chasing her. Eventually, everything comes to a satisfying but predictable conclusion. This debut novel is a fun read and surprisingly feminist in a number of ways. Keplinger makes good points about female body image and female friendship, and discusses how both men and women use offensive terms about women as a means of social control. Bianca and the other female characters are more believable and realistic than Wesley, who is straight out of female romantic fantasyland. It is a little difficult to understand why Bianca would get involved with him after he insults her, but in their romantic scenes, there is some seriously hot chemistry. These teens are realistically and openly sexual, and there are frequent discussions of such matters as birth control and STDs, as well as a few F-bombs. Older girls, including reluctant readers, will love this one.–
Review –
I loved this book and read it in one sitting.  I could not put it down.
 
Maybe it’s because I can relate to the main female  character that made me love it so much or maybe it’s because I’ve been there and known others who have.  The story is very true and has happened since Day One only under different names. 
I think the author could have been more accurate with the description of The D.U.F.F. – in the story Bianca is said to be small chested and have large thighs.  In reality, FAT is FAT but the story does get the point across.  Also, I have a bit of a problem with the ending-it’s too fairytale-it doesn’t happen in real life.
 
There is a lot of sex in the book so if that’s a problem for you don’t read this book.
 
All in all – I loved this book.