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Debi V. Smith
Fourteen year-old Sara Parker lives a sheltered life in Encinitas, California. She’s not allowed to have friends until Arissa Jericho moves in across the street before their freshman year of high school. Sara’s parents reluctantly allow the two to be friends, finding other ways to maintain control over her life instead. Sara needs to keep the family secrets while walking the fine line of her friendships with Arissa and a boy at school, Jason Waters. She believes if she can keep quiet, she won’t lose her friends and might be able to survive. This work of fiction will take you on an emotional roller coaster, proving that hope can be found in darkness and that families are not limited to the one you are born into.
The Downward Spiral
Kyle Morgan lives with his twin sister, Kyra. For two years, their living arrangement works well, until one afternoon she finds him in a pool of his own blood. To move forward, he has to continue to balance his reality with that of everyone around him, while she has to take a step back from micro-managing him. If Kyle can find the path of stability and Kyra focuses on her own life, both will gain hope for a future brighter than the bleak depression of the last fourteen years. The Morgan twins will make you root for a life where hope replaces darkness and fear.
In 1990s Honolulu Ariana Baraquio’s current boyfriend, James Devlin, meets her last boyfriend, Lance Byun, in a chance meeting and the interaction goes south in a blink. Lance’s views on dating and Asian-American women have changed since Ari last saw him. He lets her know that she should be with him again instead of J.D. because J.D. isn’t Asian. Ari’s refusal to accept his racial purity ideology leads to Lance stalking and ultimately holding them hostage before disappearing. It takes time and heartache before Ari and J.D. can move on from the trauma. Before they know it, Lance returns engaging in the same patterns of stalking and violence. Ari’s story will not just make you wish for a better future in which the system, institutions, and individuals take victims at their word and do more to protect them, making them feel safer to report in the first place, but to understand that it’s not hyperbole when Asian-American women say their lives are in danger because they’ve been fetishized.
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