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Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts)

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  11 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Letting go of anger is life's greatest challenge.

Vanessa Smith hasn't been the same since her father's death. A hero until the end, he died saving a restaurant owner's wife and son from a burning building. Nessa has always blamed the boy, Ben, for her loss, and her thoughts are consumed with ways to make him as miserable as she is.

Nichole Adams knows Nessa can never heal u
...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published June 3rd 2016 by Life’s a Book Publishing
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Karen Eisenbrey
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This young adult novel opens with main character Vanessa, a shy, self-conscious high school girl, taking a big step: helping her mom clean out her dad’s office, five years after his death in a fire from which he had rescued a child. They are both far from recovered from that trauma. Vanessa blames the kid for her loss. When she finds what looks like her father’s bucket list, her best friend Nichole encourages her to do it for him. This leads to episodes of wacky adventure that help Vanessa get o ...more
Julian White
I'm obviously not a member of the target audience for this book. The trials and tribulations of teenaged girls, even those who are traumatised by the sudden death of a father in a tragic heroic rescue. The narrator, Vanessa, is bright but overweight and socially inept. Her best friend, Nichole, seems at times to prefer the company of other girls - and when Ben, the survivor in the rescue mentioned turns up at school as the younger brother of one of those other girls Vanessa's already rocky life ...more
Gordon Gravley
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
In my days as a YA (oh, so long ago) we were reading the likes of Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, Alice Childress, and my personal favorite, S.E. Hinton. What I miss of that era, for the most part, was reading of real-life issues, difficult questions and choices faced daily; those ever-present growing pains. Today, those same issues are lost in over-wrought, contrived stories involving vampires, zombies, or dystopia. What was thought of as innovative quickly became cliche'.

Which is why Barnard's "Do
...more
Andrea Huelsenbeck
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was introduced to this book by an excerpt posted in the Weekend Writing Warriors challenge. I was so intrigued by the bucket list Vanessa found in her father’s study (five years after his death) that I had to buy the book. I read a lot of Young Adult novels, because I’m writing one. (Or, I’m writing a YA novel, because that’s what I like to read.) This is a good one.

I’ve never experienced a traumatic experience, but the flashback “memories” that torment Vanessa seem to me to be accurate depict
...more
Christina
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the premise of this story: A teenage girl, Vanessa, struggles to cope with the loss of her dad, killed as he saved a family in a restaurant fire, when she finds his bucket list and decides to fulfill the items on the list as a way of dealing with her sorrow. Author Rachel Barnard is adept at painting a portrait of grief as anger, which is a common reaction. Vanessa's resentment at her Mom's new boyfriend seethes off the page and rings true, as do her various teen pranks with her BFF Nicho ...more
David Rose
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I went into the shop with my tastebuds all set for powdered sugar, a yielding, filling, comforting bite of heaven. That's not what I got. Smoke, ashes and maybe a hint of burning rubber. And a little perfume. Donuts in an Empty Field is YA, and maybe, coming of age, and under the light exterior of late teen girlfriends it is a book to take seriously.

I was blown away by the reality of the characters, even the off-beat, quirky ones. All of them, major, minor and background. Not even to mention the
...more
Matthew Buza
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy following stories where there is some loss with the main character. In this story Vannessa is struggling to come to terms with the death of her father. Throughout the book the author brought the reader into the manic emotions of a young teenager struggling through the everyday world, battling family and friends as the world around her moves on from the death. Regardless of the heavy underlying tone the author makes the ride enjoyable. I would recommend this book to any young adult reader ...more
Connie Garvie
rated it did not like it
Oct 30, 2018
Amy Kwei
rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2016
Larry Kamberg
rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2016
Victoria Bastedo
rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2017
Rachel Barnard
Apr 29, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
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Rachel Barnard is a Pacific Northwester from Florida who is always looking to work the changes in her life into a story, plot, or character.

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