Archive for the ‘outsiders’ Category


How would you feel about knowing how long you had to live?

Jem has a talent. She sees numbers when she looks at people. The numbers are the exact date of their deaths. She retreats into a loner existence. Then she meets Spider who is so attracted to her and breaks through her isolation. But Spider is trouble…in school, on the streets. Despite their shared problems, they go to London together and Jem’s terror grows as she sees TODAY as the death date of lots of the people surrounding her. They run, and the authorities now want to question the two teens running away from the Eye. It is just a matter of time for these two kids. I could not put it down. The ending will blow readers away.

American readers will get a glimpse of British life of fringe citizens, who face prejudice and poverty.

ENDERS’ Rating: *****



Mackler hands us another winner with four tangled up lives of four teenagers: beautiful and successful Skye, her reluctant sidekick Jena, Dakota the pig, and his younger, nerdy brother Owen. The tangling involves their connections with each other over a four month period. We are introduced through Jena’s eyes to perfect, aloft Skye with whom she has to share spring break in Paradise due to their mothers being college buddies. While there she is seduced by Dakota. She is shocked-delighted-fearful of her first sexual encounter. The reader feels the violation. Skye steals him away for Jena’s final spring break humiliation. In May Dakota becomes the narrator, revealing that he was reeling from the death of his estranged girlfriend. June is Skye’s month. She is disillusioned with her famed life, discovering on “Real Life” that her dead father has family still in Brazil. Last is Dakota’s brother, Owen, the blogger of “Loser with a Laptop” who cannot tolerate the retreat in which his mother enrolls him to take him out of geek-dom. He goes on the lam to meet Jena in New York City under the wooden butterflies of the children’s museum. I loved comparing his view of Jena with hers from April. He was so taken by her that he felt like he had “a fault line in [his] body.”

ENDERS’ Rating: ****

Carolyn Mackler’s Website



In a surprisingly impulsive move, Auden chooses to spend her summer before college with her father, his new wife and new baby. She walks in on a depressed and sleep-deprived mother, a yowling baby, and a self-absorbed father who needs his nine hours of sleep a night and solitary confinement writing his next best seller. With the help of Eli, a loner and former bike competitor, she goes on a quest in the middle of nights to experience some typical kid stuff: sneaking into a club, bowling, hot dog parties, but not bikes: too scary. She watches shop girls all perform a 9 PM dance around the shop to whatever tune is played. She makes social blunders one after another, and that is her charm. Loved it! Dessen hits another homer, which would make another good movie.

ENDERS Rating: Do I love Sarah Dessen novels, or what!

Sarah Dessen’s Website