Scarred by Joanne Macgregor
Sloane’s life was perfect. But after a life-changing car accident, she’s left with an ugly scar on the side of her face and hopefully a fresh start at a new school. When she recognizes Luke Naughton, the cute swimmer she used to see at meets, Sloane thinks that maybe her new start might not be so bad until she smiles at him and he sends a sneer back. Sloane is sure that her scar disgusts him and tries to keep her distance but when life keeps throwing them together, Sloane discovers that looks might be deceiving. Scarred is an unremarkable yet enjoyable YA novel about loss, bullying, and forgiveness. The story moves along at a good pace and I found the protagonist, Sloane, to be realistic and sympathetic. There were some overdramatic points toward the end but overall, it was a nice, easy read.
Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost by Mindy Hayes & Michele G. Miller
Ruby Kaminski and Brett Pratt were living very different lives until that fateful day, June 18, 1992, when Flight 397 crashed in the ocean off Long Island and they both lost parents. Now they share a connection that no one but the two of them understands. As they write letters back and forth, they help each other heal and focus on the future instead of all the things they lost. This is book masterfully deals with love, pain, loss, hope, and dreams. It’s a heart-warming, character-driven story about two people on opposites side of the country can connect through shared pain and experience and the power of words. The excellent writing makes the plot feel all the more real and beautiful. I absolutely recommend Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost. Go read it!