In-Between Days

352p. ebook available. S. & S. Aug. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442486560.
Gr 9 Up—The town of Mobius does not have a lot going for it. Total population is 600. Main Street has a beauty parlor, a pub, an OTB, and a run-down convenience store called Bent Bowl Spoon, where 17-year-old Jacklin works. She is a high school dropout who lives with her older sister Trudy, a dropout as well. Jack does her best to keep her boyfriend Luke happy but receives little in the way of reciprocation. She and her sister are estranged from their parents, particularly her mother, who feels betrayed by the lives her daughters are living. When Jack loses her job, and finally acknowledges that Luke doesn't care for her, she knows she must make changes. Wakefield gives voice to the bullied, those with mental issues, and teens who can't face the truth but find self-worth in spite of their flaws. Jacklin will probably never be the successful woman her mother hoped for. But readers will admire her ability to reevaluate her bad decisions and her efforts to forge ahead with better choices.
VERDICT This gritty depiction of a working-class teenager in a tiny town should appeal to older YAs.

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