cover image Life Without Friends

Life Without Friends

Ellen Emerson White, Author Scholastic $12.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-590-33781-6

Beverly had a rough junior year at her exclusive Boston prep school. She got involved with the wrong crowdso wrong that now two kids are dead, her former boyfriend is on trial for murder, and she's the chief witness for the prosecution. Bev's an outcast at school; she starts her senior year isolated and hopeless. It truly is ""life without friends'' until she meets Derek at the Public Garden. He's a young maintenance worker and a world apart from her preppie ex-friends. His wit and friendship gradually break down her defenses and she starts to care again. With a less skillful writer this could have been yet another bleak catalogue of contemporary teenage problems: divorce, suicide, drugs and self-destruction. But White (the author of several YA novels) has created a believable heroine kids will care about, as well as a highly readable, satisfying story. (13-up)