Candy Darlings by Christine Walde
While Candy Darlings is not a YA book for everyone, its unique blend of candy, drugs, cliques, secrets, lies, and storytelling are sure to please some readers. A nameless first-person narrator befriends the school’s self-proclaimed outcast, Megan, as she faces off against MAL, a three-headed clique made up of of Malorie, Angela, and Laura. Megan is a free spirit. She is not afraid to be completely outrageous and unbelievable. Her actions often lead her into trouble, and she is unapologetic about her behavior. On top of your typical peer pressure, our narrator faces a troubled home life as well. Her mother died the previous summer and it would be an understatement to say that her and her father are dealing with their grief in compatible ways. It seems in her now crazy world that it is easier to communicate through stories than to actually speak the truth and face the harshness of reality. The ray of hope in the novel besides the girls’ friendship, is their relationship with an elderly woman named Edie who is a fellow storyteller and a candy freak. The truth is not always easy to discern, and that’s one of the messages of this book. And while much remains a mystery--for example the narrator’s name and age--what is revealed is a heart-felt emotion which rings with a truth all its own.
Houghton Mifflin's Brief Bio on Christine Walde