Where It Began

Ann Redisch Stampler, Author
Ann Redisch Stampler. Simon Pulse, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2321-3
Paperback - 369 pages - 978-1-4424-2322-0
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4424-2323-7
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At the beginning of this strong YA debut from picture-book author Stampler (The Rooster Prince of Breslov), high school senior Gabby wakes up in the hospital with a spotty memory and a battered body. Memories of her recent transformation from a “sub-regular girl with nothing going for her” to an it-girl, becoming the girlfriend of ultrapopular student Billy Nash, are crystal clear, but the details of the car accident that landed her in the hospital have been lost. Gabby apparently crashed Billy’s car while drunk, and Billy must pretend to sever their relationship to avoid violating his probation. It’s evident that there is more to the story, but Gabby refuses to see any red flags. Stampler’s story of a girl’s obsession with a guy at the expense of all else is powerful, and Gabby’s alcohol problem, her devotion to Billy, and her overall denial are entirely believable. Gabby’s sardonic voice will draw readers into the story immediately, as Stampler delivers a searing portrayal of power, privilege, and betrayal in the hills above Los Angeles. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Mar.) ■
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