cover image The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind

The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind

Kirstin Cronn-Mills. Flux, $9.95 paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-7387-1504-9

Written with candor and splashes of humor, Cronn-Mills's first novel explores the muddled emotions of Morgan, a high-school junior stuck in "Central Nowhere," her name for her small Nebraskan hometown. Whenever she gets too fed up with life, Morgan drives to the country and screams confessions to the sky. Besides being plagued with feelings of entrapment ("I imagine what it will be like to leave here, and my heart sings a little"), she tires of her "dumb jock" boyfriend, develops a crush on an older boy who works with her at the local market and doesn't know what to make her kiss with a female classmate. Then there's the matter of her father's drinking problem and a family secret so large and ugly it threatens to ruin her relationship with her grandmother, the only person who understands her. Presenting more dilemmas than pat solutions, this provocative story captures the essence of adolescent ennui and uncertainty through an uncensored first-person narrative. Stubborn, quick-witted and determined to make her dreams come true, Morgan will draw sympathy from readers. Ages 12%E2%80%94up. (Sept.)