Frankie Devereux is plagued by PTSD after witnessing the fatal beating of her lacrosse captain boyfriend, but the details of Noah’s death are foggy. After a DUI jeopardizes her Ivy League future, Frankie moves from her upper-class Maryland neighborhood of the Heights to the grittier Downs with her father, an undercover cop. She immediately falls for the first bad boy she sees, an inked-up brawler, and the story leaps headfirst into their melodramatic love story as Frankie swiftly trades her obsession with finding Noah’s killer for her infatuation with the smoldering Marco. Garcia (Unbreakable) gives her characters enough backstory to make them three-dimensional, and themes of class struggle are threaded throughout the novel, but the narrative is so clouded by Frankie’s yearning that other characters, relationships, and plotlines seem to fall away as the story careens toward a too-neat finale. Overblown dialogue, including trite warnings from Marco that he is no good and cheesy promises that their love is “the always kind,” further weakens an exciting but overly formulaic romance. Ages 15–up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/22/2016 Release date: 10/04/2016 Genre: Children's
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