That’s the refrain at the heart of Michelle Buckman‘s latest novel for teens: Turning in Circles, a story of sisters, small-town secrets and teenage rebellion. So close in age that they’re in the same grade at school, Savannah and Charleston have always done everything together. That’s changing now that they’re teenagers. Charleston is younger but more strong-willed and independent than her naive sister Savannah.
The novel is a study in character contrast. Older sister Savannah is deliberate, careful and cautious. Resistant to change, she’s a rule-follower and a worrier. Charleston, on the other hand, lives for the thrill of taking risks: she’s impulsive and rebellious.
Charleston’s first love is the neighborhood “bad boy,” Dillon, who finds trouble to spare–while Ellerbe, the quintessential good guy and boy next door, crushes on clueless Savannah.
Savannah, busy covering for her sister who’s sneaking off to meet Dillon, uncovers way too many long-buried secrets as she seeks a way to protect her sister from her boyfriend. You know this won’t end well, but the ending is not what you expect. At the same time, it’s the only ending possible.
This Southern YA novel is appropriate for high-school students.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links; your purchase through these links helps support this blog. Thank you! I was given a free review copy of this book, but no other compensation. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.
In the name of accentuating the positive and coming up with solutions instead of just complaining about problems, Catholic author ErinMcCole-Cupp has proposed that people who love to read good books share their lists of works of quality fiction that celebrate truth, beauty and goodness rather than tearing down the dignity of the human person.
Here are 50+ WAY Better Novels:
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. My all-time favorite book EVER.
Rachel’s Contrition by Michelle Buckman
Death Panels by Michelle Buckman
Angela’s Song by AnnMarie Creedon
Cracks in the Sidewalk by Bette Lee Crosby
The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby
Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby
Jubilee’s Journey by Bette Lee Crosby
Previously Loved Treasures by Bette Lee Crosby
What Matters Most by Bette Lee Crosby
Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby
Wishing for Wonderful by Bette Lee Crosby
Don’t You Forget About Me by Erin McCole-Cupp
Jane_E., Friendless Orphan by Erin McCole-Cupp
Nest by Esther Ehrlich. YA.
Greater Treasures: A DragonEye Novella by Karina Fabian
Georgios by A.K. Frailey
The Scent of Lilacs by Ann Gabhart
In Name Only by Ellen Gable
A Subtle Grace by Ellen Gable
Emily’s Hope by Ellen Gable
Stealing Jenny by Ellen Gable
The Truth About the Sky by Katharine Grubb
Falling for Your Madness by Katharine Grubb
Genius Under Construction by Marilee Haynes. YA.
Past Suspicion by Therese Heckencamp
Casting the First Stone by Lisa Hess
A Hunger in the Heart by Kaye Park Hinckley
The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt
The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab. YA.
Julia’s Hope by Leisha Kelly
Cracks in the Ice by Deanna Klingel
A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Purcell Lauer
The Paper Cowboy by Kristin Levine. YA.
Hijacked by Leslie Lynch
Unholy Bonds by Leslie Lynch
Opal’s Jubilee by Leslie Lynch
A Christmas Hope by Leslie Lynch
When Mike Kissed Emma by Christine Marciniak, YA.
Reality Ali by Christine Marciniak, YA.
Lights, Camera, Ali by Christine Marciniak, YA.
Honestly, Ali! by Christine Marciniak. YA.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Fatal Rhythm by R. B. O’Gorman
Finding Grace by Laura Pearl
Erin’s Ring by Laura Pearl. YA.
Hush Hush by Michelle Quigley
O Little Town by Don Reid
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Best Wishes, Sister B by Fran Smith
Bird Face by Cynthia T. Toney. YA.
Digital Me by J.M. Varner. YA.
Mister Teacher Person by J.M. Varner. YA.
Breathing On Her Own by Rebecca Williams Waters
I’ve read all of these books and consider them all Really GOOD Fiction. Quality fiction. Well-written fiction. Fiction you wouldn’t be ashamed to leave around your living room, read in a public place, or have your teenager pick up and read.
I’ve met the authors of some of these books. I’ve been a beta reader for some of them. I know the care they take in crafting novels that are well-written, with interesting characters and fascinating plots–novels that show respect for both the character AND the reader. Some of these are YA, but I’ve got nothing against reading good YA stuff. This list does reflect my taste (almost no no time travel, sci-fi or dystopian stuff, although I’m sure there’s plenty of those novels out there that are of good quality.)
Not all of these authors are Catholic authors. Not all of them are indie authors. But many of them are. I have read ALL of these books and am happy to recommend them far and wide. Also, this list is limited to novels. Because it’s my list, so I’m setting the parameters.