cover image What We Keep Is Not Always What Will Stay

What We Keep Is Not Always What Will Stay

Amanda Cockrell. Flux, $9.95 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-0-7387-2615-1

Adult author Cockrell's YA debut is a touching story about a girl forced to confront her lack of control over her world. Fifteen-year-old Angie lives with her stepfather, Ben, refusing to move out when her mother leaves after a fight. She confesses her fears and concerns to a statue of St. Felix hidden in her church's basement, only to find that a kindly homeless veteran has been living there and has overheard her problems. Meanwhile, at school she is in a class with Jesse, a 19-year-old dropout who is re-entering school after losing a leg in Afghanistan. She is quickly attracted to him, even as his own problems become evident. Torn between her ongoing family issues and her concern over Jesse, Angie must deal with the harsh truth that there might not be anything she can do to help those she loves. Angie is a strong and witty narrator, and Cockrell leaves readers with plenty of food for thought as she navigates issues of homelessness, prejudice, post-traumatic stress disorder, and faith. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. (June)