Hey Harry, Hey Matilda by Rachel Hulin

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is told entrierly via letter and email between fraternal twins.  The format is witty and fun and it is very cool to see their lives unfold message via message.  Harry and Matilda both have their share of problems and I found myself laughing and cheering them on as the pages and plots unfolded.   A warm and witty look at family dynamics.

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

New teacher Molly Nicoll is drawn into the world of her students all of whom unbeknownst to her were part of a middle school tragedy.  All of her students carry a scar from what happened and where they fall on the social scale does not exempt them.   Dave struggles to keep up with his parents expectations, Nick the scam artist who just wants to get by, and Emma who is a gifted dancer and party girl.  Molly struggles with the line between teacher and friend as everything in their world and hers becomes public via social media.  A unique perspective on high school in the digital age and the roles of teachers as social media becomes the norm.  Unique and distinct characters add to the richness of this novel.

If You Were Here Jennie Yabroff January 3rd 2017

Tess was happy on the fringe at her prep school until her mother made her a social outcast, now Tabitha is her only friend and they spend lots of time watching Sixteen Candles among other things.  As an 80’s girl I was fine with that and enjoyed remembering parts of the movie.  Tabitha slowly changes and the distance between the friends grows until tragedy changes their world forever.  Now I don’t want that last line to seem overly dramatic, although it does, but I also don’t want to give anything away either, so you will have to read and decide how that line should be interpreted.  That said I loved the characters in this story.  Tess who wants to be normal but knows she can’t be, Tabitha who likes her anyway, Tess’s Mom who really does try but life is full of limitations for her, Tess’s Dad who is trying to keep the sky from falling, and Tess’s grandmother who offers Tess honesty and wisdom and adds her own special magic to the story.  A wonderful story of growing up and figuring out your place in the world.