From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up–Nearly three dozen young adult authors each address a “rule” that should be bent or ignored, such as “always sit in your assigned seat,” “dress appropriately,” “never be alone,” or “don't quit.” Each contributor shares personal experience and advice, which makes for good, varied reading that will surely offer something unique for many readers. The essays are inspiring and thought-provoking, and many offer truly funny moments. Reynolds provides an excellent flow between essays. This title could easily be read cover to cover or by individual selection based on theme. There is a nice mix of male and female voices. Especially good are Leslie Connor's “Don't Tell Lies,” in which she confesses to actually liking rules; Lisa Burman's essay on eating disorders, titled “Don't Get Fat”; and Chris Barton's “Go to College After High School,” because it allows readers to think about their options. As readers head back to the classrooms this fall, these essays can serve as discussion starters and give readers a jumping-off point for thinking about the bigger picture and life after high school.–Elaine Baran Black, Georgia Public Library Service, Atlantaα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Thirty-five writers use the 20/20 hindsight of their adult perches to look back and give back. Weaving together this caring anthology is the message to teens to pump up the volume on their inner voice and to consider writing as a vehicle to traverse adolescence. While each contribution is deeply heartfelt, the shining stars of the collection are those that elegantly guide the reader with authentic, personal specifics on journeys that are genuinely transformative. Matthew Quick shares the experience of attending a wedding in Namibia with his wife, Alicia Besette; Luke Reynolds and his brother Chris run the London Marathon; and Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s extraordinary big brother Ricky introduces someone who could shape readers’ future relationships with friends and family. The contributors’ biographies reveal more personal insights along with professional accomplishments, and teens might well use the biographies as references to read more from a favorite new author. Grades 7-12. --Gail Bush