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L.E.A.P. (Linn's Emerging Adult Plan)



Author: Toni Bellon
ISBN: 9781951122911 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781951122928 (ebook)
Publication Date: August 6, 2024
Price: $15.95
Pages: 232

Growing up would be easier if parents did it first.

Turning fourteen, Linn Gurke suffers from the adolescent ABCs—Acne, Boobs, and Crushes. Her alcoholic mother and codependent father don't provide help or support. While being labeled a liar, Linn is expected to keep her mother's addiction quiet. It's the big secret shaping everyone's truth. Linn wants to quit lying, in particular to her best friend, Nadine.

Feeling alone, Linn reads self-help articles and creates Linn's Emerging Adult Plan (L.E.A.P.). This eight-point checklist is designed to prevent Linn from succumbing to her mother's genetic makeup and predisposition toward alcoholism. But when an unbalanced aunt arrives, Linn and her snarky older brother, Brendan, learn that their thirty-nine-year-old mother is pregnant. The family spirals downward as Linn's priorities change from growing up to survival for herself and her siblings. Linn must find a way to conquer the family demons.

Read the first chapters!

Reviews and Endorsements

Life as a young adolescent is fraught with a daily gauntlet of socioemotional events while searching for genuine identities that fit! In L. E. A. P., Bellon captures the emotions that run on a loop through 14-year-old Linn's mind as she navigates friends, her brother, dad, and her mercurial mom who's fighting her own demons in a never-ending war. Bellon's dry humor with lines such as, "The Fourth of July always has sales, and I need some new genes" will keep you LYAO; but Linn's reality digs deeply into your soul as you cheer for her to find solace in a seemingly impossible journey toward adulthood. You'll laugh and cry as Bellon's story telling places you directly into the uncertainty of adolescence - that feeling of being frozen in time between the joys of ignorant childhood and the promise of ever-elusive adult-like opportunities - "juvenescence" as Bellon labels it.
Dave F. Brown, EdD., young adolescent researcher and author of Young Adolescents and the Middle Schools They Need.

Funny and tragic, poignant and powerful, Bellon draws on personal experience to weave the tale of a mother-daughter relationship strained to the point of breaking by mom's alcoholism. But search beneath those tumultuous waves to find perhaps the real story: an inspiring and realistic depiction of sibling survival against the odds.
Chris Negron, acclaimed author of Underdog City, The Last Super Chef, and Dan Unmasked

Thirteen-year-old Linn is a liar, and, in her family, this is an asset. Everyone lies to keep the 'perfect family' illusion intact. But only two people think the illusion is working and they are Linn's parents. Changing would require acknowledging that Linn's mother is an alcoholic and neither of her parents is ready for that. Linn and her brother Brendan do what is required to survive in an unpredictable and unsupportive home. Above all else, they must pretend to be perfect, even as their problems worsen.

L.E.A.P.: Linn's Emerging Adult Plan by Toni Bellon is an honest view into the life of a teen living with an alcoholic parent and the systemic dysfunction that happens in a family that tries to pretend everything is normal. Readers will love Linn and her insightful, pragmatic nature. Bellon is a masterful storyteller and Linn's journey toward adulthood is entertaining, heartbreaking, and hopeful.
Kim Ottesen, Programming Manager, Forsyth County Public Library


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