Bounce by Natasha Friend.

Published September 2007.

I really enjoyed Friend’s Lush, a story of an alcoholic teen, and this book is another winner. 

Evyn’s father is marrying a woman that she has never met and dragging her and her brother to another city to live with the woman and her five children!  Evyn, who just wants to be back in her normal life with her best friend, finds herself in a room with twin teen sisters and her best friend seems to be building a life without her.  Evyn’s stepbrother is considered one of the hottest boys their age, and she is drawn into a strained friendship with the most popular girls in her new school.  It isn’t until Evyn is true to herself and discovers who she really is that she learns how to bounce back.

Friend’s writing is just so crystal clear and clean.  It makes reading a real joy and will appeal to girls who read lighter fiction, even though there is plenty here to dig into.  Her characters are equally well rendered with personalities that grow and change but in the most believable ways possible.  I particularly enjoyed this large step family of teenagers who are all so very different and uniquely drawn.  That alone speaks to the skill of Friend’s writing.

Recommended for girls who read books like Gossip Girl, or The Clique.  This could serve as a great gateway to better literature with its friendly subject matter but also depth.