Real life seems to have interrupted my great intentions to post every Wednesday until I had covered all fifteen 2011-2012 Soaring Eagle nominees . . . so, let's talk about three of those nominees that present slices of real life!
Glass by Ellen Hopkins. In the first book of this series, Crank, we met Kristina Snow. Kristina has a promising future ahead of her - until she spends a summer with her estranged father and meets a monster. This isn't a monster like the vampires, werewolves and demons that populate so many Young Adult books. Rather, this as a real-life monster -- the drug crank, or methamphetamine. Hopkins' first book chronicles Kristina's descent into the world of drug addiction, and the downward spiral that her life takes after she meets the monster. Glass, the sequel, continues Kristina's story. She now has a baby whom she loves very much -- but will she have the strength to fight the monster to be there for her child? (This is the second in the Kristina Snow trilogy; the third, Fallout, is also available.)
Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. For the last three years, ever since her parents' divorce, Ronnie has managed to avoid speaking to, or having any contact with, her father. Unfortunately, Ronnie has been making some bad choices, including shoplifting. As a result, her mother decides that it would be in Ronnie's best interest to spend the summer with her dad in his remote North Carolina beach community -- away from the friends and temptations of Ronnie's New York City life. Can she manage to find peace with a dad she hasn't spoken to in three years? And can she do it before it's too late?
Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendelin Van Draanen. Evangeline Logan knows exactly what she wants: a kiss. not just a quick peck on the lips, but a heart-stopping, life-altering, earth-shattering KISS. And she is on a quest to live her fantasy, going on kissing missions in her search for perfection, and in her attempt to not deal with the problems at home. Along the way, she endures bad kisses and her growing bad reputation. Eventually, Evangeline has to do some thinking about what it is she really wants - and start making some grown-up decisions for herself.