From his first glimpse, 16-year-old Kaz Barrett is hypnotized by Zoey, a mysterious street performer with pink dreadlocks and an enormous crucifix-shaped musical instrument. While they explore their frenetic romantic connection, Kaz is also preoccupied with his mother’s immobilizing sleep disorder, a job at the local Laundromat, and untangling the lies and deceptions of the con artists and vagrants he tends to associate with. Beyond a look that Kaz describes as “goth-rock Jesus freak, half Bob Marley, half Kewpie doll,” Zoey is a standard femme fatale with a mysterious, ever-changing backstory and a brassy demeanor that separates her from the other girls Kaz’s age. Although the Zoey he comes to know is an illusion, a shadow of reality steeped in inventions and half-truths, her genuine (if oft-resisted) care and concern for him are also evident. Writing in Kaz’s voice, Weston (The Creature Department) strikes a balance between a teen with the weight of adult responsibilities on his shoulders and a youthful naivety, allowing a twist ending to take readers—and Kaz himself—by surprise. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jackie Kaiser, Westwood Creative Artists. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/15/2014 Release date: 02/01/2015 Genre: Children's
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