"Each book can and does stand independently - even those in series - and she is seldom content with just telling us a story. Many of the books are laugh-out-loud funny. She builds tension well, sometimes with cliff-hangers and foreshadowing. Most of her
characters face moral dilemmas and her resolutions are not pat or overly predictable. She's a fine storyteller and her memory for what it's like to be young is readily apparent in her work. Having raised two sons may have helped her to present believable
male as well as female protagonists.
"The topics too, vary widely: religion, mental illness, teenage rebellion, coping with divorce and death, facing one's fears and adult imperfections, as well as determining right and wrong, are just some of the dilemmas characters face in her books.
There is usually an ethical crisis and her main characters evolve believably. Her books are often uplifting but never oversimplified and we don't get the feeling that she sneaked in a sermon."