• Book Review

    The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B – Teresa Toten

    “The boy inhaled as the door opened. It was as if he knew. The girl stepped into the room, and within the space of a heartbeat, he was lost.  The girl made her way towards the semicircle of chairs, not smiling exactly, but not hesitating either. She was older for sure. Probably. So it was hopeless, of course. She sat down directly across from him, at her end of the semicircle. Without looking up, she crossed her genius, perfect legs and flipped a long black braid behind her. By the time he exhaled, he boy was in love.”  Adam has issues, and the main one at the moment is that…

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    Finding a Voice: Friendship is a Two Way Street – Kim Hood

    “One, two, three, four. I started counting the steps as soon as my feet left the drive. At first, walking so quickly I could barely keep count, but counting nonetheless. Pouring all of my consciousness into keeping count, blocking any other thought out. Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. Opening one finger at a time when I got to the two-syllable numbers to make sure I didn’t lose track of how many steps I had taken.” Jo is so used to keeping her head down and getting on with life that she doesn’t always see things clearly. Between looking after her mum and avoiding the mean kids at school she tries to keep…

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    Breaking Butterflies by M Anjelais Blog Tour: Review

    “When my mother was a little girl, she walked to the playground by herself every day after school. I can picture it easily; photos of her as a child are almost indistinguishable from photos of me when I was little. I used to look at her old yellow-edged school photographs a lot. My mother had a shy, quiet look a round face, and the same straight brown hair I used to have, though in every picture hers was pulled back from her forehead in two tight little pigtails.”  One day Sphinx’s mother met a girl who would change her life. Her and Leigh would be friends forever and that friendship…

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    Shine – Candy Gourlay

    “‘Are you listening, Rosa?’ I stared at Yaya. Her eyebrows were knitted on her yellow forehead and her face was suddenly smaller, her eyes hard and buring like black coals. ‘Listen, listen. This is important.’ The seriousness of her voice and the smallness of her face made me feel suddenly scared. I climbed onto her lap.” There is a place where it rains consistently throughout the year. It rarely stops. Yet in this place when the rain does stop it’s not so much a celebration, no. When the rain stops the locals believe that monsters come, monsters bad enough to claim their children’s lives. The Calm is a symptom of…

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    Hello Darkness – Anthony McGown

    “I was sitting on the can when it all kicked off. Third cubicle from the wall. You could be pretty sure of finding me there at 11.30 on a Tuesday morning. That’s because 11.30 on a Tuesday morning meant double maths, and even the sour tang in the boys’ pissoire beat the heck out of quadratic equations, and the stale pleasure of speculating about whether Mr McHale would be wearing the brown safari jacket with the red food stains, or the red jacket with brown stains.” Johnny Middleton’s school can only be described as a detention centre, you’d call it hell but even hell can’t compare. Run under the dictatorship…

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    Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Matthew Quick

    “The P-38 WWII Nazi handgun looks comical lying on the breakfast table next to a bowl of oatmeal. It’s like some weird steampunk utensil anachronism. But if you look very closely just above the handle you can see the tiny stamped swastika and the eagle perched on top, which is real as hell.  Leonard Peacock has reached his eighteenth birthday and now he knows exactly what he will do, he will say goodbye.  Not to his mother who will probably not notice he’s not around for a few days or weeks Not to his father who he hasn’t seen in years. Not to his former best friend who has been…

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    Drowning Instinct – Ilsa J. Bick

    “‘Look,’ says the detective. He stares down at the girl huddled on the gurney. Despite a half dozen blankets, the poor kid is still shaking as badly as when they pulled her from the water an hour ago. Another ten, fifteen minutes in that lake, Bob Pendleton thinks, and she might not have made it either. ‘Just tell me the truth. The truth can’t hurt.'” Jenna has recently been released from a mental health unit. Psycho-Dad thinks she’s ‘cured’ but Jenna knows that’s just wishful thinking, there’s still plenty wrong with her. Like for example her parents constant arguing, her mums drinking, her dads way of ignoring her and what…

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    Survive – Alex Morel

    “It is ten minutes before ten, and normally I’d be stalking out a chair for Group. That’s the kind of thing you worry about in an institution like Life House. I guess that’s good, in a way. The challenge of Group is to find a chair as far away from Old Doctor as possible without sitting too close to Big Stink, otherwise secretly known as BS. BS is Ben, and hes the only boy on Life House D, which is specifically for cutters and suicides , and he smells like urine baked at three-fifty for forty minutes.” Jane is in Life house following an ‘incident’ which she still isn’t sure…

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    Pushing the Limits – Katie McGarry

    “‘My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has… well… issues. How do you think I’m doing?’ That’s how I would have loved to respond to Mrs. Collins’s question, but my father placed too much importance on appearance for me to answer honestly. Instead, I blinked three times and said, ‘Fine.’ Mrs. Collins, Eastwick High’s new clinical social worker, acted as if I hadn’t spoken. She shoved a stack of files to the side of her already cluttered desk and flipped through various papers. My new therapist hummed when she found my three-inch-think file and rewarded herself with a sip of…

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    The Blessed – Tonya Hurley

    “‘Agnes!’ Martha wailed, clutching the pale arm of her only daughter. ‘Is he really worth it? Worth this?’ Agnes’s blank eyes were fixed on her mother as she went in and out of consciousness. Her body was unloaded from the back of the ambulance like a raw meat delivery to the local butcher.” Agnes, Lucy and Cecila are three very different girls. But when they all find themselves in the Emergency Room on a saturday night things start to change. Each of the girls leave the ER to return to their normal lives but they each find themselves in possession of a bracelet, given to them during the night of…