Scribbler of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson, Deborah Halverson
Reading level: Young Adult
It's the Crutchfields v. the Malones in this lush Romeo and Juliet story about two related California families that have hated each other for generations, even though (or perhaps because) they own adjacent tracks of ocean-view land. Like the rest of her family, 17-year-old Kait Malone blames the Crutchfields for everything, particularly now that her father's in jail for killing Robert Crutchfield in what the Malones claim was an accident.
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Money is short, because the Malones refuse to sell any of their land, so Kait and her sister must transfer to the public high school under assumed names. And then the unthinkable happens: Kait falls head over heels in love with a beautiful boy named Bram--who turns out to be a Crutchfield. As their romance deepens, Kait's lies about her identity grow ever more complicated. She clings to her conviction that the Crutchfields are monsters--except for Bram--although this belief grows harder and harder to sustain as she meets his family.
When Bram's mother loans her the crumbling journals of one of the two sisters who began the feud, Kait finds the truth is a source of compassion. Yet she still postpones her revelation to Bram, as tension builds and the situation finally escalates out of her control. But all ends well, and teen romantics will heave a satisfied sigh at the happily-ever-after ending. (Ages 12 and older)