Marilyn Reynolds has decades of experience working with at-risk students in California alternative schools. She is the author of the True-to-Life from Hamilton High series.
Gr 9 Up‘This sensitively written problem novel deals with a young woman's struggle to stay true to her own goals and values while trying to save her boyfriend from himself. Erica Arrendondo, 18, is an excellent student who volunteers at the Humane Society, plays volleyball, and desperately wants to be a veterinarian. Her boyfriend is spiraling down a path of self-destruction and pulling her along with him. Topics such as keeping parents unaware of sexual relationships, the trauma of rape, the stress of college applications, the rewards of volunteerism, and the threat of AIDS are all gently interwoven into the main story of the trials of young love. The characters are compelling and the novel itself almost impossible to put down. The writing is superb and the realistic tone sets this book alongside the best of the genre. This fifth entry in the series about students at Hamilton High is an excellent addition to any YA collection.‘Robyn Ryan Vandenbroek, formerly at Otterville Public School, Ontario