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Summary: Diana and Stephanie are stepsisters. They are complete opposites: Stephanie believes in God, Diana believes churchgoers are hypocrites. Still, the hardship of dealing with their parents' divorce bonds them together. Diana's reaction to her parent's divorce is to alienate herself from family and friends, and instead seek comfort from animals. She's selfish, defiant and only thinks about herself. She doesn't have a social life at school, and gets suspended for fighting. Stephanie, on the other hand is very popular and loved by everyone ... including Diane's mother. But Stephanie has a dark secret that she keeps from everyone. Will she be able to face her fears? This is the first in a YA chapter series about two stepsisters.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 9 and Up; read yourself: 10 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: This is a great book to share with teenagers. It offers readers a good reminder to live a meaningful life and how to deal with your feelings. With Diana and Stephanie, teens can see that it is okay to allow yourself to explore your feelings and express concerns for others. Also, it shows readers that you can learn to be resilient, build trust with people that are in your life, and be supportive of others.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: This is a story that teen girls will relate to, even if they aren't sisters.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. For teens dealing with tough family issues, this is a book that could be an extra friend.
Educational Themes: There are lots of topics that readers can explore, including relationships, friendship, honesty, facing adversity, perseverance, compassion, and family dynamics. This would be an excellent choice for a teen book club, particularly a mother-daughter book club.
Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from the local library.
Literary Categories: Fiction - family, life lessons, growing up, series, Young Adult
Date(s) Reviewed: November 2013
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.