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Books, Gardens, Dogs

Falling for You

Falling For You - Lisa Schroeder MY THOUGHTSABSOLUTELY LOVED ITRae's father left when she was a baby and her mother has moved on and in with Dean, a man Rae is not fond of. The only thing she really knows about her father is that he was a fan of Nirvana and that leads to her love of the Foo Fighters whose songs carry her through the worst of days. She works at a job she adores, assisting at Full Bloom, the only flower shop in her small town. She has a close circle of friends and never fails to go out of her way to be kind, even though life hasn't been kind to her. When her English teacher suggests the students submit their poems for an anthology, Rae will only submit hers as "anonymous" and the school seem to explode with hidden grief as the submissions grow with deep revelations to spark a poetry revolution. When Nathan, the son of a nationally known author, moves to town, he is everything that Rae thinks she wants in a boyfriend until he becomes obsessive and possessive. As Rae feels that she finally has everything a teen her age could desire, she knows something is wrong with Nathan, something she can't deal with at all right now. Things get progressively worse at home with her step father, Rae finds herself keeping secrets from everyone who reaches out to her with offers of help. At this point, I am seriously in tears. I think Rae will never find peace or the happiness that she deserves. On the other hand, is Leo, who works next door at a coffee shop for his parents. He has been the constant in Rae's life, always being there for her even when she doesn't realize it. He pays attention to her, talks to her and lets her forget that she has trouble at home. The story is told through flashbacks between the past few months and the present while Rae is in the hospital in horrible pain. What puts her there will stun even the most jaded reader. I am leaving out a lot of details but this is really a story of good triumphing over evil even though there is so much pain that Rae must endure. I wonder how many kids endure what she did? Even though this is Schroeder's first book that isn't written entirely in verse, the same emotional story telling and gorgeous writing is wonderfully put together. There are lots of poems sprinkled through the story in the form of Rae's poetry journal and brings a lot of emotional background to her personality. Parents: There are mentions of domestic violence, stalking, alcohol and drug abuse, and some kissing, none of which are overtly graphic. Overall this is really a clean read which is a real lesson in empathy towards others.

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