Seventeen-year-old Rachel has battled schizophrenia since eighth grade and sometimes decides not to take her medication. She needs the intangibles, her make-believe friends, to fill the lonely gaps in her life. Then she meets Arnold, who is accepting and adoring of Rachel, and can relate to the numbing side effects of pills due to his own struggle with ADHD and depression. When Arnold convinces Rachel to ditch her medication completely for marijuana, Rachel’s mind starts to unravel, bringing her face to face with the traumas of her past.
Publisher: Fire & Ice
Walking Off Pluto
Seventeen-year-old Lynn refuses to grieve for her dying father. She’s more concerned about Pluto losing its status in the solar system. Snubbing her dysfunctional family, Lynn spends most of her time with her telescope, trying to find the rejected planet. Then she meets Peter in the hospital the same night her father passes away. Peter is an actor pretending to be sick. Or a cancer patient. Or he has an eating disorder. Bottom line, he’s not well physically, and mentally he’s off the charts. He speaks his mind, yet lies constantly. The only time Lynn feels remotely alive is when she is with Peter who has a few secrets of his own. When Peter opens up about the tragedies of his past, Lynn realizes that if she doesn’t face her father’s death and the resentment she holds against him, she’ll never be able to love anyone.
The Mass (on submission)
When #thoughtsandprayers aren’t enough...
After losing his entire football team in a mass shooting, eighteen-year-old Daniel struggles to process his emotions. Empty and numb, he takes his father’s suggestion to join an online support group and connects with Maya. A bullet wound has ruined Maya’s gymnastics career, but she’s determined to live life on the edge, no matter the cost. In need of an escape from her worrisome family, she invites Daniel to Fantasy Land, hoping a vacation will free him of any guilt or sorrow.
The two instantly hit it off. But as time passes, Daniel’s feelings grow too strong for Maya who just wants a life of pleasure. After calling it quits, their lives spiral out of control, sending Daniel into a depression and Maya straight for the bottle. If Daniel doesn’t overcome his survivor’s guilt, he’ll never be able to move on or find happiness. And if Maya doesn’t put an end to her reckless ways, she may never know if Daniel’s feelings were true or just an infatuation.