Kelly Louise has been transplanted by her single mom from Des Moines to the small farm town of Heaven, Iowa so they can live with her strict grandmother and her picture perfect cousin Natalie for a few months. Her mom refuses to tell her why and the only thing the people in Heaven want to talk about is the devastating news that a farmer found an infant in his cornfield.
In Stranded by J.T. Dutton, Kelly must adjust to an entirely different way of life where her grandmother labels everything Kelly wears as inappropriate and her holier-than-thou cousin Natalie is held to a different standard. But when her mom finally tells her the story of why they moved to Heaven, Kelly realizes her family is keeping a major secret under wraps--that Natalie was the one who gave birth to the baby and left her in a field where the farmer found her.
You'll get inside Kelly's head as she struggles with the truth and the pressure of this ever-looming secret. Although Kelly is a quirky character who is independent, feisty, and multi-layered, burying all of this leads her to find escape and lose her virginity with her troubled next door neighbor.
In the end, will Kelly do what's right or will she be the one who crumbles from the pressure?
Stranded is a thought provoking novel that will probably shock you as you discover the way this family handles such a tragedy. Racy at times, the book confronts plenty of stressful high school situations from smoking pot, losing your virginity, and drinking, but wraps it all up into an honest coming-of-age tale.
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (June 8, 2010)
Source of review copy: Publisher