Gregorio (None of the Above) introduces Taiwanese-American Jocelyn Wu, 16, who is determined to save her family’s failing Chinese restaurant in central New York, and biracial (half black, half white) William Domenici, also 16, in need of both a paying summer gig and the “investigative skills” required to earn a more significant role at his school newspaper. A charmingly awkward meet-cute ends with Jos hiring Will to help the business. As feelings develop between the two, familial expectations and difficult truths—including the failing restaurant, Jos’s depression, and Will’s anxiety—threaten to quash their relationship. Gregorio introduces the protagonists through alternating perspectives, unspooling each character’s quirks and the ways their strengths, insecurities, and experiences affect them and those closest to them. Readers will come to this story for dynamic romantic and familial relationships, but they’ll stay for its smart exploration of depression, anxiety, and self-care. Gregorio doesn’t preach or prescribe, instead offering readers a safe space in which to consider and develop their understanding of mental health and, like Jos and Will, find the courage to ask for help if needed. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jessica Regel, Foundry Literary + Media.(Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/06/2020 Release date: 04/14/2020 Genre: Children's
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