All Out of Pretty

350p. Creston Bks. Apr. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781939547484.
Gr 10 Up—Andrea is plucked by her drug-addicted mother, Ayla, from her loving grandmother's house after the older woman dies. Andrea becomes homeless and lives in a car, while Ayla tries to get money and food from guys she sleeps with. When Ayla gets a new boyfriend, Judd, they move in with him, and Andrea is forced to help him package and distribute drugs for her keep. Judd is abusive and Andrea doesn't know what to do. She doesn't want to abandon her mother, but when things turn even worse, the teen starts a plan to save herself. The complicated relationships that involve Andrea are realistically drawn, down to the psychological trauma that each one entails. The flawed main characters have their own issues that Palmer presents in an authentic way. Readers will sympathize with all of the characters, even the antagonists. The debut author does not leave any traumatic thought unturned. This is textbook-contemporary YA, but it feels fresh under Palmer's expert writing. There are no wasted words, and the mounting events will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they cheer on the protagonist and cringe from the horrendous situations she experiences.
VERDICT An excellent selection for YA shelves.

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