Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wonderland (fiction)

How much of the past stains our future forever?
Can having one friend make up for the scorn of everyone else?
Why does Stella leave Jude alone so often?

Jude feels like a nothing, an outcast, a scholarship kid at the snooty private high school in her teeny British town. No one would believe that she has an audition at a London drama academy...

When her best friend Stella returns, then Jude can escape this fishbowl where everyone knows your past. Stella's got to come back, doesn't she?

A gripping World Wednesday story for readers who won't shy away from Stella's reckless behavior or Jude's struggle to escape her depression.

Book info: Wonderland / Joanna Nadin. Candlewick, 2011. [author's website] [publisher site] [fan-created book trailer]

Recommendation: Stella is so much cooler than Jude, always showing up in her life just when Jude despairs of escaping her small British coastal town, the cliques at her high school, the woeful expression on her widowed dad’s face.

Jude just couldn’t get through this summer - tourists asking directions at their shop, the popular kids ignoring her at the beach, little brother Alfie’s incessant questions - without Stella’s flippant remarks, crazy fashion sense, and disdain for what people think about her. Stella had better not do one of her disappearing acts this time, though.

And the secret, in Jude’s pocket, the audition invitation from a London theater school… acting is all that she wants to do, just like her Mum, her beautiful, talented, dead mother.

As Stella’s choices get more reckless, Jude is pulled along on crazy adventures all summer. The audition goes by in a blur, the popular crowd is out to get them both, and Jude’s dad can’t quite let her go. If she had to, could Jude leave town alone? Would Stella stay with her always?

Deep secrets and worries with long memories fill this story for very mature readers, which begins with a car going off a cliff toward the sea…
(One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

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