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Friesen, Gayle. Losing forever.

Kids Can Press (2250 Military Rd., Tonawanda, NY 14150). 248p. c2002. 1554470317. $16.95. J

Jes is a thoughtful young teenager trying to make sense of her ever-changing world. She wanted to believe in "happily ever after," and "forever," but the breakup of her parents' marriage has soured her belief in commitment. So she is not enthusiastic at all when her mother plans to remarry. Jes spends a lot of time with her sad father, especially at the lake cottage where they share so many memories of happy times before their family disintegrated. The death of Jes's baby sister when Jes was eight years old was the beginning of the end. Her parents' grief and depression, and her father's affair with another woman, finished the marriage, and Jes still cannot accept this loss.

She clings to her dear friends, but they too are changing. Sam is looking at her differently; she is afraid if they become boyfriend/girlfriend they will lose their friendship forever. Her friend Dell is caught up in the excitement of her first romance and doesn't have as much time for Jes. Now, to make things much worse, Angela appears at their doorstep. Angela is the daughter of the man who will be Jes's stepfather--she is introduced as Jes's new sister, not an auspicious beginning. Angela quickly complicates all of Jes's relationships.

This is a believable story of a family trying to get through a difficult transition. It has the heartfelt immediacy of the Alice series and will be enjoyed by middle school girls who are trying to make sense of family life and first romances. Friesen has written two other YA novels that have been selected as ALA Best Books for YAs: Janey's Girl and Men of Stone. Claire Rosser, KLIATT
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Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Rosser, Claire
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 2002
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