Book Review: Before, After and Somebody in Between by Jeannine Garsee
First sentence: "Okay, I'm sitting on the edge of my bed, listening to Beethoven and scribbling in my notebook, when Momma shuffles up behind me and smacks me in the head."
From Amazon.com: "One hour into her first day of tenth grade, Martha Kowalski knows she's really in trouble. The school bully, Chardonnay, has already threatened her life—and at home, things are even worse. Martha's mom, fresh out of rehab, is shacking up with a total jerk in a run-down two-family in the ghetto.
More than anything she's ever wanted, Martha wants to play the cello. But even music becomes a danger—because nothing is what it seems in this place. With her mother's willpower dissolving, Martha watches helplessly as her own dreams slip farther away.
But in an exhilarating twist that would stun even Cinderella, everything changes. A wealthy lawyer invites her into his family's home, and Martha is given a chance to start over. The warm, caring Brinkman's treat Martha like one of the family, and even though it feels so right, she knows they can't be as perfect as they seem. And she knows this fairy tale can't last forever..."
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Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (October 28, 2008)