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YA author Deanna Proach is back with her latest book, To Be Maria, a coming of age story that is just as valid today as if it came from the pages of the newspaper. Please join us to hear her excerpt and chat with me about the book.
To Be Maria
Seventeen-year-old Anya Preschnikov dreams of one day becoming a famous actor, but she's faced with two problems: her one-parent, dysfunctional family neglects her and has no money to support her, and at school, she's the target of her peers' contempt. Anya believes that in order to secure her stepping stone to stardom, she must dress like the rich girls and be surrounded by a large network of friends. All of this changes, though, when Maria Hernandez comes to Peach Valley Senior High.
Desperate to belong somewhere, Anya and Maria set out to find new friends outside of school. They soon meet Alex and Marissa, a young couple who eagerly welcomes them into their world of parties and drugs. Anya and Maria soon learn that Alex is a drug dealer, but they're so lured by his wealth and aggressive confidence that they can't resist his friendship. What they don't know is that Alex's gang is at war with a rival gang - one run by Anya's older brother, Adrik - until a deadly incident puts their lives in danger's path. To make matters worse, Alex refuses to let Anya and Maria out of his sight.
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It's good to talk.