The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig (A Love Story)

Don Zolidis. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-368-00961-4
Craig, 17, a D&D master ready to get out of his small town, doesn’t expect that way-out-of-his-league Amy, 18, would ever give him a second look (“Amy Carlson was no ordinary hot chick. She was president of everything”). But after Craig joins Youth in Government at the Janesville, Wis., YMCA, which Amy presides over, they fall in love. Chronicling their senior-year relationship in a nonlinear fashion through the unhappy break-ups and the make-ups, debut novelist Zolidis reveals the complicated nature of first love mixed with a healthy dose of complicated family life. Craig’s inferiority complex (“It’s kind of awful having a twin sister who’s a hundred times cooler than you”) informs his relationship; Amy, meanwhile, struggles with her own identity crisis, looking for her birth mother, and dealing with a parent undergoing cancer treatments. Paying light homage to John Hughes movies via a mid-’90s setting, Zolidis handles the on-and-off relationship with humor and heart while deftly weaving through the more difficult subject matter. Ages 14–up. Agent: John Cusick, Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2018
Release date: 10/02/2018
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