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Dangerous Neighbors - Beth Kephart Summary: Grieving and filled with survivor's guilt over the loss of her twin sister Anna, Katherine goes to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition grounds one day intent on committing suicide. However, a host of "dangerous neighbors" (everyday people) keep interrupting her intentions: a girl with a bird, a mother who can't find her little girl, her sister's lover who shares Katherine's grief and guilt. Can Katherine find her way back to a place called hope?

Verdict: Okay, it's girlie and sappy at heart, but this book is extremely well-written, especially for YA.

Yay!: The writing style is beautifully, poetically descriptive. Settings are well-realized. Katherine's irritation and jealousy over her sister's love affair (told in flashbacks) is as understandable and sympathetic as her grief over Anna's death, and the emotions are easy to get caught up in. At the same time, Katherine isn't a drag. Her suicide attempts are wholly unconvincing; she obviously doesn't really want to die but can't understand how to live without her sister. Despite the angsty premise, the plot is tame and even-keeled. This book would be wonderful for someone looking for a bittersweet yet hopeful story, or a quiet, genteel narrative voice.

Nay!: While the loss of a beloved sister is of course a wrenching thing, Anna's character does little to inspire the reader's sympathy. She's just a naive, narcissistic, vapid young girl in the throes of first love. Yawn.