I loved 16 yr. old Josie’s voice in this wonderful realistic fiction novel. She is genius smart but struggles a bit with social/emotional communication. Josie speaks the native language of her older sister, Kate, as well as her best friend, Stu. But she has to work hard to translate the language of her fellow high school and college students, of beautiful girls and break-up boys. Josie faces two major struggles in the book. First, when Kate gets engaged to a guy that Josie dislikes, Josie starts a campaign to break them up. For the first time in her life, her native sister language becomes a foreign one. Second, Josie attempts to figure out the language of romantic love. Much is lost in translation along the way. Josie is quirky and earnest, prickly and dear. I just loved her. A bonus is that the story takes place in Bexley, OH, just around the city corner from where I live.
Another realistic fiction novel that I just finished is Trouble, by Non Pratt, first published in Great Britain. Hannah is 15 yrs. old, pregnant, and she can’t tell her family who the father of the baby is. Aaron has transferred to her school to escape a traumatic past. Each needs a friend, and they slowly begin to find one in each other. The chapters go back and forth between Hannah and Aaron’s narration. All of the secondary characters are well-developed and interesting. I really enjoyed reading this coming-of-age novel.