A troubled teen responds to therapy despite herself.
When she first arrives at Sunny Meadows, a “therapeutic boarding school” her controlling, distant father has found for her, all Taylor wants to do is escape. She is on probation for stealing a car, an impulsive act carried out to escape from life with her dysfunctional, alcoholic mother. She quickly draws the unwanted attention of a group of mean girls and the friendship of the effervescent Margo, a former child actress. She also “meets” a boy who talks to her through an air duct (that apparently connects their two rooms and no others) and arranges platonic midnight meetings thanks to his bunch of illicitly reproduced keys. She is truculent in therapy, focusing only on her plan to get out. The air-duct conversations are ludicrously unbelievable, carried out as they are with her door open, and her success at creating a mold for a key is equally incredible. Despite this, readers are likely to sympathize enough with Taylor to read past these flaws and root for her as she reluctantly embraces rehabilitation. Taylor’s character arc will surprise nobody, least of all Dr. Deb, her therapist. That process—in which grudging compliance becomes acceptance—is, if a little textbook, satisfyingly believable.
Despite a few bumps in the road, a hopeful model for growth through therapy. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Now for my review of Kirkus review: Not Too Shabby!
In other news, I’m making a book trailer. It’s a lot of fun. I recruited some of my former students to act/direct/edit for me and they are incredible. Yesterday we shot for two hours in the heat of the day and my babysitter Bethany (Taylor) had to keep running across a basketball court (the Pen), shaking a fence and screaming with Andre and Finn running with the camera and microphone in their socks behind her–with an audience of random passerbys. Something I didn’t know about Bethany, she is an amazing screamer. And Emily, who plays lead mean girl, Brandi, has the best stank face EVER. But she is actually very sweet, except for when she says, “Welcome to Sunny Meadows.” *chills*
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for news about my blog tour which will kick off at the end of July and run through August. I can’t hardly wait!