cover image And Other Mistakes

And Other Mistakes

Erika Turner. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-2508-3484-3

Black 17-year-old track star Aaliyah Marshall is forced to navigate love and high school drama after being outed as queer by a church elder in this standout novel. Getting outed was the final straw before Aaliyah felt as if her life was about to implode—especially considering she’s dealing with her alcohol-dependent father’s emotionally abusive outbursts, her über religious mother’s homophobia, a fallout with her childhood best friend and crush, and being ousted as her cross-country team’s captain. But the end of the semester means a fresh start and, determined to create a better foundation for her upcoming senior year, Aaliyah puts her all into the summer’s cross-country training season. Her intense athletic focus helps distract her from her father’s erratic behavior and her mother’s cold demeanor, which feel suffocating while she’s at home. Even better is the chance to get closer to teammate Marissa, the former lead singer of her favorite local band. Things become complicated, however, when she starts developing feelings for new teammate Tessa. By employing impeccable emotional tension that superbly renders themes of abuse, friendship, and identity, Turner delivers a genuine and honest read. The supporting cast is intersectionally diverse. Ages 14–up. Agent: Quressa Robinson, Folio Literary. (Feb.)