Carolyn Mackler, Author . HarperTeen $16.99 (308p) ISBN 978-0-06-173104-4

Mackler's latest is structured as four interconnecting novellas that explore the gulf between teenagers' inner lives and what they project externally. Starting with awkward Jena's Caribbean vacation, Mackler (Vegan Virgin Valentine ) is at her best with the kind of insecurities readers will find familiar, be it Jena's carefully chosen flight outfit (“under the glaring lights of Kennedy airport it all felt wrong”) or her self-consciousness around Skye, the glamorous daughter of her mother's best friend. Jena has a fling with studly Dakota, who narrates the second novella. Dakota is the least likable character (earlier, he tells Jena, “[Y]ou have some fine-looking tits”), but his growth as he reflects on his rocky relationship with his girlfriend, who died in a car accident, is moving. Privileged Manhattanite Skye is at the center of the third story, which exposes the depression under the surface of her seemingly charmed life. The final tale, about Owen, Dakota's brother, ties up various loose ends and provides a happy ending. Mackler's protagonists have distinct, engaging voices; if the book never gets terribly deep, it's still an entertaining read. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/23/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009
Show other formats
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-06-173105-1
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-199206-3
Paperback - 308 pages - 978-0-06-173106-8
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.