Speed of Life by J. M. Kelly
Available in Print.
Amber and Crystal are twin sisters and high school seniors in Oregon. Even though they’re teenagers, they have adult responsibilities. When one of the twins got pregnant during her junior year, Amber and Crystal agreed to raise the baby, Natalie, together. Amber and Crystal don’t have easy lives, but they’ve learned to take care of themselves. They’re broke and busy. Amber washes dishes at her aunt’s tavern, the Glass Slipper, while Crystal works on cars and sells lottery tickets at Jimmy’s Gas and Auto Repair. Amber and Crystal’s gambling mom and beer-swilling stepdad, Gil, aren’t much help, but their friend Han is always willing and able to lend a helping hand.
Despite their difficulties, Amber and Crystal are committed to supporting each other and reaching their goals in life. They have made plans together for life after high school graduation. Amber is going to take over the Glass Slipper and Crystal is going to work full-time at Jimmy’s. The twins are going to move out of their mom’s home and get their own apartment. Above all, they want Natalie to have a better life than they have had.
Life gets in the way of their mutual plans when Crystal gets inspired to study auto restoration at a college far away in Kansas. Crystal — scared of blowing up the sisters’ plans — keeps her college dream a secret from Amber, even while taking practical steps to turn that dream into reality.
Will Crystal abandon her dream of going to college or will Crystal pursue her dream, thus betraying the twins’ plans? Can the sisters get the better future that they want for Natalie and themselves?
Recommended for readers who like: realistic fiction, stories about families, and thinking about their future.