Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Since We Last Spoke by Brenda Rufener
Harper Collins / Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Aggi and Max have grown up together and finally fallen in love. Just as their romance is going strong, a tragic car accident involving their older siblings occurs. Aggi’s sister was driving and Max’s brother is killed. Shortly afterward, Aggi’s sister commits suicide. Their fathers declare war on each other and the families are allowed no contact with each other. The teens yearn for each other but since a restraining order forbids contact between the two, they each believe the other has moved on. The painful heartache that both Aggi and Max feel is tragic and the reader will wonder if there is any way that they can overcome the situation in which they find themselves.
Teens will feel they’ve been on a very intense journey as they come to care deeply about the two main characters as well as the secondary ones in this book of really big emotions.
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Everybody knows the story of Cinderella. But have you ever thought about her stepsisters? Isabelle is one of them. As this book opens, Isabelle has just cut off all of her toes at her mother’s command, in order to fit into the famous glass slipper. Needless to say, it didn’t work. Everyone shuns her but that’s nothing new. Everybody always said she was ugly. She loves sports – pretty girls don’t run or love to ride horses, do they? Pretty girls aren’t smart. After years of being treated terribly because she’s not obedient, quiet, and dainty, Isabelle is mad. She’s rude. And she’s can be mean.
Fate and Chance make a bet over whether Isabelle can change her sad destiny. Can she find her own beauty in her strength? Can a fighter be lovely? Can an improper lady be worthy of true love?
This ode to girl power and re-telling of a fairy tale everyone knows will appeal to readers of fractured fairy tales and those who believe that teen girls can do anything they put their minds to. Fans of Marissa Meyer and Malinda Lo will love “Stepsister”.
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