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01.04.2016
To follow the Tillerman children through their trials and tribulations is an extraordinary journey of courage, determination, faith in family (and how a person defines that term), and heroism. The Mortal Instruments: Book 1, City of Bones, Book 2, City of Ashes, Book 3, City of Glass, By Cassandra Clare  I was standing in the YA section of the library when I saw a boy wearing a letter jacket from our local high school.
In addition to Perfect Chemistry, Simone Elkeles is the author of the following novels, all of which I highly recommend.
Return to Paradise is a richly written, emotionally charged novel that will leave you satisfied, but also wishing that the last page didn’t come so quickly.
What makes Simone Elkeles’s books (including this one) so fabulous is the realistic portrayal of characters from all different life experiences. Paul Volponi’s book RESPONSE was a 2010 Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Honor book so I was immediately intrigued. What was so powerful about this book was the honest portrayal of racial relations, especially among teens in this nation. She starred in the 2009 direct-to-video film, American Pie Presents: The Book of Love, and stars in the CBS sitcom, 2 Broke Girls. Exceptional characters, great settings, beautiful exchange of voice between the two main characters.
She seamlessly integrates sexuality, disabilities, race, religion and faith, love, family dynamics, drug use, and divorce.


It’s one of those books you could read more than once and get to know the characters from different layers that you may have missed the first time around.
Once again, Simone Elkeles draws the reader in by alternating between Caleb and Maggie’s narration, and it works beautifully.
All of Simone Elkeles’s main characters face difficult challenges and Caleb and Maggie are no exception. Hate List shows the fragile line between being bullied and bullies and the horrendous consquences that can occur when an individual has had too much or has been pushed over the edge. Brilliant, extraordinary… the characters will jump off the page and become a part of you. As a teacher I know our high schools introduce teens to fantastic American Lit, but I would love to see an elective course in high schools on MODERN or RECENT American Lit – works that have come out in the last ten years. Friedman’s description, characterization, prose, settings, etc are, in my opinion, masterful! I hope to see these characters in a sequel.
There is no sugar coating life, but love can make a person better, can help to overcome obstacles, and can give strength when you’re feeling weak. This is a novel you need to read more than once because you don’t want to miss any nuance or angle. We have had friendships fail for many different reasons but this book tries to examine a group of friends as they have a falling out and with some effort maybe recovery.


What happens when best friends break up?This story is written following four friends through their junior year in high school. Clare creates an incredible underworld of amazing characters who will keep you interested from page one. With that said, however, I think this novel is extremely authentic on so many different levels, that I can’t imagine Simone writing these characters in any different way.
And yet soon they realize that life sometimes bring us back to people who meant a lot to us. I loved the entire series, and as of today (February 28, 2010) one of the finest YA urban fantasy series I have ever read. And sometimes it is the time apart that makes friendships strongest.The story is very well written.



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