November Ever After

Laura Torres, Author Holiday House $16.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8234-1464-2
After 16-year-old Amy's mother is killed in a car crash, she turns to her best friend Sara for support. But as Sara spends more and more time with their classmate, Anita, Amy begins to feel lost. When she learns from Sara's mother that Sara is in love with Anita, she feels betrayed. First novelist Torres convincingly and gradually brings out the complexities of Amy's feelings. Amy's narrative describes her fear that Sara will spend all her time with Anita and drop their friendship; she grapples with her own feelings about Sara's sexual orientation and worries that classmates will think she's gay, too, and tenses up whenever Sara touches her. Amy's bittersweet memories of her mother and Sara are well-crafted, but the placement of these vignettes often feels forced. More jarring is the unconvincing conclusion. Amy comes to the sudden realization that her friend is still the same person (""My heart felt right, being with Sara the way we used to be""). Several other subplots tie up the loose ends a bit too tidily, but the promising prose and credible characterizations make this writer one to watch. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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