Author:  Christopher Grant
ISBN:  978-0-375-86191-8

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Dear Readers:
This is a debut novel that goes directly to the heart of the angst, trials, and pain involved with growing up.  God knows, we all remember what that was like.  And even though it was extremely difficult, when you hit forty, there’s a part of you that would love to go back – with all you’ve learned – and do childhood all over again.
Teenie (her real name is Martine) is a very interesting girl.  She lives in Brooklyn, NY with both her parents; she also has two older brothers who are gone from the house attending the University of Maryland.  Teenie was always overlooked in school; coming in at five feet and one hundred and one pounds, the only thing people seemed to notice about her was her huge metal braces and her beautiful best friend Charise who was always by her side.
Her parents are caring parents, but they do have rules and regulations that Teenie must abide; especially her father, who always
complains about household things like using too much water, wasting too much time staring at the computer, etc.  Mom works nights as a nurse and Dad works days as a compliance officer for the SEC – so they see each other for about thirty minutes at a time.  Her parents are truly in love, though, and they truly love their daughter. 

Teenie is a freshman and the one thing she wants more than anything is to win a scholarship from the Young Scholars Study Abroad Program.  Although she loves her parents, she is absolutely dying to get out and spend time in Spain.  Her friend Charise is a good friend, but she talks constantly, listens very rarely, wants more than anything to be a cheerleader…and is having a relationship with a college man she calls Big Daddy who keeps sending her debit cards to buy things with.  Teenie tries to warn Charise that someone who gives this many gifts is going to want something in return one day, and she’s worried that Charise is setting herself up to get hurt.
There is one guy in school – senior captain of the basketball team – named Greg, who Teenie can barely believe is talking to little ole’ her.  The day she gets her braces removed, he comes up to her in the hall and flirts with Teenie; she can’t even speak.  Why on earth is this popular, handsome boy singling her out?
Throughout this remarkable story, which does twist and turn in directions that you will NEVER see coming, readers are introduced to really difficult decisions.  We are pulled into a family unit that is based on love and protection, but Teenie really doesn’t see this until her world begins to fall apart around her.  The courage she shows as a young girl is remarkable, but the lesson I truly took away from the book, is that no matter what fights you and your loved ones get into – they, in the end, are the ones who will stand up for you no matter what! 
This is a lovely young adult book and a wonderful family drama.  I have a feeling this debut novelist will be around a long time. Enjoy!

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