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All families have issues. Few, however, choose to air them on national television like the Marchesons.

Kik Marcheson struggles to keep her teaching job and somehow continue a writing career while dealing with three very different girls. Doone, the eldest, seems to be falling into the classic “bad child” role when her backpack is found in a meth lab, while Casey overcompensates by being the perfect, popular, sweet child who tries to make peace. The much younger Tess, born during the divorce of Kik and the children’s father, Owen, is full of laughter and fun but also demanding and very independent.

CLOSE by Erika Raskin is a great read for any teenager and the characters are all extremely relatable.

In a last ditch attempt to pull the family together and get help, the family appears on Dr. Price, a TV therapy show. Although the Marchesons walk off stage in the middle of a taping, the family receives intense criticism and backlash for their appearance on the show. In spite of bad press, the Marchesons actually begin to draw closer and things begin to look up. Doone focuses on art and a new friend while taking on more responsibilities. The relationships and trust between all three girls and their mom grow stronger.

Then calamity strikes as one of the girls is kidnapped and the family will go to any lengths to bring her home.

This book is all about relationships between people and knowing when to forgive and when to let go. It focuses on the theme of trust and what happens when that fragile trust is broken. CLOSE by Erika Raskin is a great read for any teenager and the characters are all extremely relatable. While most families will fortunately never experience the pain of a missing child or the humiliation of national criticism, the actions and struggles of the characters will touch readers as they hope for a happy ending for the Marcheson family.

Reviewed by Emily P., Teen Board Member on November 21, 2014

by Erika Raskin

  • Publication Date: October 16, 2014
  • Genres: Young Adult 12+
  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Square Editions
  • ISBN-10: 0989596036
  • ISBN-13: 9780989596039