Title: Identical

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Summary:Once there was a happy family with a loving Mom and Dad and two perfect identical twin daughters, Kaeleigh and Raeanne. Their perfect home was filled with love and laughter. Then the accident happened. Now only anger, fear, perversion, and self-destruction reside in that perfect house. The loving mom has become a politician who prefers the campaign trail to home. And the loving father, a tough, but respected district-court judge, becomes another man at home.  He’s a lonely man who seeks comfort from the bottle and in controlling his most pliant daughter Kaeleigh with perverse attention.  

While Kaeleigh silently struggles with her father’s abuse and the efforts to maintain her prim outer facade at school; Raeanne loudly bristles at the way her Dad ignores her and plays ‘favorites,’ rebelling against the loneliness by turning to drugs, alcohol, and sex.  Both girls are sprialing toward self-destruction, but it isn’t until the end of the story that everyone discovers the toll keeping such secrets has on a family. 

Who will like this book:  With its’ themes of sexual abuse, drug and alcohol use, cutting, and promiscuity this is definitely a book for mature teen audiences.  That being said, this is a well written book that will take the reader into the minds of its’ troubled characters in a way that few books do.  If you like a gritty, raw, emotional story, this is the book for you.   

If you like this, try this: Anything by Ellen Hopkins, Cut by Patricia McCormick, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Go Ask Alice by Anonymous,  Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Teen Librarian

I Heart You, You Haunt Me


Title: I Heart You, You Haunt Me

Author: Lisa Schroeder

Summary: Written in verse, this short novel is a moving story about loss, grief, and the power of love. Ava’s boyfriend Jackson died suddenly in a terrible accident at the end of the school year. As Ava grieves, she thinks she sees Jackson’s face when she looks in the mirror, although she knows it’s just her guilt and grief. But then Ava begins to sense his presence – a blast of cold air in the room, the CD player turning on. Soon, she can even hear his voice and see him in her dreams. Ava is being haunted.

Ava’s friends and family urge her to move on and live her life, while she is determined to spend as much time with Jackson as she can. But what kind of relationship can you have with a ghost?

Who will like this book?: Fans of ghost stories and impossible romances. Readers of verse novelists like Sonya Sones and Ellen Hopkins. People looking for a quick read with a good story.

If you like this, try this: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. For a more intense ghost story, check out A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian