Tag Archives: ptsd

Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan


Tom Grendel and his father, an Army veteran who is struggling with PTSD, are trying to lead a quiet life to allow his father to heal not only from his battle scars, but the loss of his wife and Tom’s mother.  But when a family moves in next door that threatens to upset the quiet neighborhood they all love, adventures ensue as Tom, his best friend Ed, and Tom’s sister vow to end the loud parties that have driven Tom’s dad from their home.  And then there’s Willow…

This book is everything that is right about YA.  I absolutely loved this reworking of Beowulf.  The adventures and plots were fun and crazy, together with the perfect amount of angst, the all important first love, and my new favorite best friend in a YA novel, Ed.  So many laugh out loud moments, but also moments that tugged at your heart and made the characters so easy to relate to and empathize with.  I had more fun with this book than I have in a long time and truly enjoyed every second of it.

SOS: Summer of St. George by Briana Gaitan


Murphy and Poppy are cousins, best friends and completely inseparable.  Their mothers were twin sisters and planned their pregnancies and births so that the girls could even be born on the same day.  What should be a very happy life for both girls finds them in tragedy, enough so that they make a pact to always be together, no matter what.

After a terrible divorce between her parents, Poppy gets herself emancipated from her family, access to her trust fund and a house on St. George Island, nicknamed “The Pop.”  There, she and Murphy spend happy summers together. especially their birthday.  During the summer of their 17th birthday, Poppy meets a young soldier named Donner, and they fall madly in love right before he deploys to a war zone.  Murphy on the other hand is completely underwhelmed by his best friend Boomer, who seems to want to drive Poppy and Donner apart, and could not be any ruder to Murphy.

Flash forward two years and Murphy and Poppy have returned for their final summer.  Terrible pain in their lives has caused the girls to consider committing suicide together at the end of what will be their final summer at The Pop.  But something is holding Murphy back.  Is it the mysterious Liam who she seems to be falling for every day.  Or is it something deeper than that.  This book is full of flashbacks, twists and turns, and suspense that will keep you wondering what is going on until the very end.  Frothy summer YA reading!