Frances and Louis live on opposite sides of the U.S., but they have been in touch for years through an online chat group for those coping with trauma. (Frances has lost her parents—one to jail, one to a mental institution—while Louis feels responsible for the accident that cost his sister her legs.) After Louis gets a tennis scholarship and a letter from Frances’s late mother reveals shocking (and probably untrue) details about Frances’s “real” father, the two make plans to meet each other in Texas and answer burning questions about their identities and futures. Frances and Louis have heavy psychological burdens, but Leno (The Half Life of Molly Pierce), alternating between the teens’ perspectives, uses their optimism and sense of humor to bring lightness to the story. Leno takes her time building each protagonist’s present and the past that informs it, which—while helpful for character and background—draws out the wait until their inevitable meeting. But patient readers will be rewarded with a rich, romantic story about two thoughtful teenagers on a quest for meaning. Ages 13–up. Agent: Wendy Schmalz, Wendy Schmalz Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2016 Release date: 07/01/2016 Genre: Children's
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