Being a teenager means having to deal with a lot of changes. Whether it is at home, in school, with friends, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, sometimes it is nice to come across a book that you can relate to and makes you feel like you're not alone in your problems. Recently, I have read three YA novels that would appeal to teens in that their main character is easy to relate to and you feel like you have talked to a best friend after finishing it.
Catherine Murdock published the conclusion to her trilogy focusing on DJ Schwenk in October. Front and Center was a satisfying ending to a character I have grown to love. We were first introduced to DJ in Dairy Queen, published in 2007. A high school sophomore, DJ is a phenomenal basketball player that does a lot of work on her family's farm. Over the summer, a family friend sends rival high school quarterback, Brian, over to work at the Schwenk farm. DJ begins to help Brian train for football season, and she finds herself liking the sport by the end of summer. When DJ decides to try-out for the team, the town is divided in support and resistance. DJ's story continues in The Off Season focusing on DJ adjusting to life after her brother is paralyzed in a football game. The story concludes in Front and Center, and I highly recommend your read the entire series.
Viola in Reel Life was published in September by adult author, Adriana Trigiani. Viola has grown up in Brooklyn with documentary filmmaker parents until sophomore year when her parents ship her off to boarding school...in South Bend, Indiana. Instead of adjusting to life with roommates and away from her family and friends, Viola hides behind her video camera. An opportunity to make a movie for a contest pushes Viola out from behind the camera and into the real world. Recommended.
Lastly, one of my favorite teen authors, Sara Zarr, was back last month with Once was Lost. Zarr did not let me down as she dove into Sam's life as a preacher's daughter. Sam's mom has been placed in rehab for alcoholism because she could not handle being a preacher's wife, but Sam is left to pick up the pieces. When a local girl goes missing, Sam's faith is tested even more as her tragedy and the kidnapped girl's begin to overlap. Highly recommended.