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Lia is consumed with guilt over her friend Cassie’s death.  Unable to cope with her feelings, she wrestles to maintain control over her eating instead.  An emotional and disturbing book about the destructive power of eating disorders, and the strength needed to overcome them.

CatalystKate knows that everything in her life will go as planned, starting with her being accepted by MIT. She’s so certain of this, that she hasn’t even applied to any other colleges. But Kate’s carefully structured life begins to fall apart when her neighbors’ house burns down, and they move in with Kate’s family. Now Teri and her brother are living with Kate, and all of a sudden life is so much more complicated than she ever thought possible.

Mattie lives in a coffeehouse with her mom and grandpa in Philadelphia in 1793. Yellow fever sweeps through the city, killing many. Mattie and her mom get sick and are separated. Mattie’s grandpa dies of a heart attack, and Mattie must assume responsibility for the coffeehouse and for her mother.

The setting is a hot summer in Philadelphia. I read this book on one of the hottest days of the summer, and it almost felt like I was in the book. The book gives a very realistic portrayal about the discomforts of life in 1793, and it was interesting and horrifying to read about this episode in history that I hadn’t learned about before.