Dannie M. Olguin
Between Safe and Real
Fifteen-year-old Zoe Wilkes has ninety-nine problems, and a boring life ain't one. With two hungry siblings, an empty fridge, and a violent mother to tiptoe around, Zoe can't slow down enough to catch a breath. When she discovers Mama’s been reading her diary, Zoe realizes she has to stop writing in it. Trouble is, if she stops, Mama’s sure to think she’s hiding something, and will tear through her room like a tornado—again—to find out what. Her solution: write Mama-safe entries in the first diary, while writing her real thoughts in a plain-old composition book.
The more entries she makes, the fuzzier the line between safe lies and terrifying truths becomes, and it’s not long before fears she’s just as unstable as Mama. After all, the apple never falls too far from the tree. If there’s even a shred of truth to her safe journal, then maybe her real journal’s just hot mess of made-up horrors. When things at home escalate, Zoe must face reality in order to keep herself and siblings safe. But facing reality means taking steps that could shatter her family. Can her friends, Cheryl and Nate, help her understand that love shouldn’t hurt and blood doesn’t make a family?
Publisher: Melange Books / Fire and Ice YA
Publication Date: February 8, 2022
'BETWEEN SAFE AND REAL grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let you go until long after you stop reading. While Olguin’s debut is an honest, unflinching look at poverty, abuse, and mental health, it is also a triumph of friendship, trust, and the kind of love that carries you when you need it most. A heart wrenching, powerful debut, Olguin is an author to watch.' - Ashley Schumacher, Author of Amelia Unabridged
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Dannie currently lives in Phoenix with her husband, soon-to-be chef son, and two dogs. When she's not writing, you can find her hiking the nearby foothills or hiding from the extreme heat with a bowl of watermelon and a book. Her debut novel, BETWEEN SAFE AND REAL, is scheduled for release in Spring 2022.
Tags: YA, Contemporary