Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*Crushed* by Laura & Tom McNeal - young adult book review
Also by Laura and Tom McNeal:

The Decoding of Lana Morris
by Laura & Tom McNeal
Young adult 336 pages Knopf May 2007 Paperback    

When Audrey Reed and her two prep-school friends are integrated into the public high school, nothing worries them more than staying below the radar. They just want to snatch the valedictorian title without running into any confrontations, especially with the school’s resident bully, Theo Driggs. Everything is going according to plan until the handsome new guy sits behind Audrey in physics class; suddenly the walls are too close, the room is too hot and he smells too good.

Wickham Hill takes an immediate interest in Audrey. She’s gorgeous, smart and has legs that go on for miles. Even more importantly, her dad is loaded and they live in a big beautiful house at the top of the hill. Innocent Audrey falls for Wickham’s charm hook, line and sinker. In a matter of days Audrey has gone from 4.0+ student to writing Wickham’s papers and helping him cheat on tests. Blinded by love, Audrey will do anything to keep Wickham, never mind the fact that he doesn’t own a car, signs his father’s name on the dinner bill and won’t take her home to meet his mother. Other dark secrets lie just below the surface, but Audrey is hoping and praying she doesn’t need to find out what Wickham is hiding.

Too bad Audrey can’t hide for long; issues of the notorious Yellow Paper are shoved under doorframes and strewn about in the hallway. Written by an anonymous reporter, the Yellow Paper is full of half-truths and rumors about the most popular students and disrespected teachers in the school. More toxic than your ordinary gossip rag, Mr./Ms. Doe hints at everything from secret plastic surgery to hushed up murder charges. It isn’t until Clyde “The Mummy” Mumsford tries to hand her a note letting her in on Wickham’s dirty little secret that Audrey’s romance starts to fall apart.

Sure that Clyde is the man behind the Yellow Paper, she runs away from her suspicions and turns him in to Theo during a particularly nasty run-in in the ladies restroom. Shocked that his crush would believe him capable of such despicable filth, Clyde does his best to stay clear of everyone and everything. Those who stick out their necks the furthest are bound to get crushed.

With a hint of Pride and Prejudice lurking in the background, Crushed depicts what can happen when you fall in lust and mistake it for love. With narrative access to each of the main character’s thoughts and feelings, the McNeals have created a story that twists the facts with each new perspective added, making for an intriguing plotline.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Meghan Fryett/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (