Wilder

Andrew Simonet. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-374-30925-1
In this dark romance set in the rural American community of Unionville, high school senior Jason Wilder recounts his version of what happened with a brash student from Hong Kong at his school. Jason first meets Meili Wen (known to others as Melissa) in the “Rubber Room,” an old science lab where in-school suspension is held. He’s being punished for starting a fire; she’s there for breaking a girl’s finger. Despite or perhaps because of Meili’s sharp tongue and unexpected requests for favors, Jason finds himself attracted to her and soon learns that they have more in common than being reputed juvenile delinquents. Both have family secrets that could prove disastrous if uncovered by the wrong people. Following his heart rather than common sense, Jason is determined to protect Meili, even if it means putting himself in danger, and when he takes risks he’d normally avoid, he pays a high price. Instead of delivering a clear-cut moral and tidy resolution, debut author Simonet leaves readers to decide whether Jason’s actions are justified and whether he is a criminal, a hero, or a victim. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/26/2018
Release date: 11/13/2018
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-250-21159-0
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