The Sunshine Stone: Young Adult Fantasy and Coming of Age Book HUGEOrange Publication Review

Antonia’s life has been turned upside down after her father, a rich partner in a law firm, has been incarcerated for money laundering. To pay the fine, she and her mother have had to sell everything: their house and everything in it, cars, even phones and computers. Now, with no income and no savings, they are barely surviving in Rotney, a violent, dirty village far from their previous privileged home and life.
Her new school is filled with bullies, savage, unrelenting ones, and teachers who are either uncaring or sadists. Her life is one of trying to not get beaten up and hoping there’s something to eat at home.  Most days end with new bruises and a growling stomach. 
Enter Frank, an elderly, American magician who’s performing at a local pub. They begin a friendship that fills her desperation for a friend and mentor. He has been in possession of a mysterious stone for many years without having found the meaning of it. Sharing details of the strange effects of the stone with Antonia, they become close as they try to work out what the stone wants.
They slowly discover more and more about the stone, with a side effect of Antonia gaining superpowers to overcome her brutal oppressors in an equally, if not more, violent manner. 

The Sunshine Stoneis a unique look at a teenager’s rise from the depths of confusion and chaos to gaining control over her life and reactions to adversity. I was cheering for Antonia the whole book through, she’s someone who deserved so much more than what life threw at her.  If you like coming of age stories, with a few surprises and bad guys getting their due, you’ll probably like this one.

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