Josh Grady is a screwed up teen about to get another chance. After stealing a car, wrecking it in a terrible accident that puts his best friend in a coma, he is given a lucky break he’s not sure he deserves. Instead of juvie, he’s sent to Shining Star Boy’s Ranch. Josh resents the rules, the counselors and the teachers, but most of all he hates the family atmosphere that reminds him of all he’s lost. Journaling becomes an outlet that leads to self discovery. After many mistakes, Josh realizes that the hardest lesson of all to learn is forgiveness.
A coming of age novel about a girl who has it all.
Stephanie Carter is a fifteen-year old freshman who has everything. Whether she’s studying, playing soccer or dancing, Steph gives it one hundred and ten percent. At home, she’s starting to feel the pressure as her family falls apart. Her mom is moody, her little brother is a mess and she’s not feeling like Daddy’s little Princess anymore. She feels the sting of his disapproval as her busy life takes her farther away from the family unit. Her mom accuses her of being a Prima Donna, and Steph comes to the startling conclusion that her parents have been fighting, a lot, about her. If they get a divorce, it’ll be her fault.
She masterminds a date for the upcoming dance, juggling her lead role in the musical as well as soccer championships. An ex-friend of their group sabotages Steph at every opportunity, but she just works harder to make up the difference. Her friends wonder if their exhaustion at the end of freshman year is worth it. It’s her job to keep everyone else motivated. Her stomach hurts and she can’t eat. If she isn’t perfect, she’ll fail. Not happening.
She gets injured in a soccer game and her doctor questions Stephanie’s rigid mind set. Stuck in a wrist cast, with her leg in a brace, Steph feels like her life is over. Especially since the injuries aren’t enough to bring her dad home, and her mom is acting crazy – which gets worse once the doctor diagnoses anorexia.
The disease, so sneaky she wasn’t even aware of it until her life started falling apart, is about control, about the illusion of perfection – and Steph needs to re-learn how to live.
The alternative is dying.