Delecorte Press, $16.99, 293 pages
Banished falls into the ever-growing category of drama-heavy, character-shallow, teen sob stories. Nevertheless, the eye-catching cover art and gripping tale of woe from the get-go is likely to capture the attention of the intended audience.
Sixteen-year-old Hailey lives in Gypsum, Missouri, or what the “cleans” at school call Trashtown. She lives with her abusive, drug-dealing grandmother, her foster brother Chub, whom she raises on her own, and her beloved dog Rascall. Hailey spends most of her days dreaming of escaping Gypsum, and especially her grandmother’s sleazy houseguest, Rattler Sikes, who has begun to take an indiscreet interest in her body.
Everything changes when Hailey discovers she has an extraordinary gift and a family member besides Gram shows her how to use it. She also learns she has a family history more horrific than she’d ever dreamed. Will Hailey ever make it out of Gypsum? Will Rattler get what he’s after? If you are looking for an easy, action-packed read and don’t mind cliff-hangers, read Banished to find out!