A summer on a communal farm in Nebraska proves to be a turning/breaking point for 17-year-old best friends Max and Sadie in this sharp and memorable portrait of a one-sided relationship. Max welcomes the hippie residents (which include Sadie’s absentee mother), yurts, and grueling farm work, but Sadie—volatile, self-absorbed, and always the center of attention—quickly grows bored and irate. After Sadie is quarantined with mono, Max has even more freedom to explore her own thoughts, interests, and desires—including a love/hate crush on a surly older boy that surprises even Max, who typically dates girls. Reed (Crazy) powerfully demonstrates how 13 years of personal history weigh on Max, who has always been forced into the role of protector when it comes to Sadie. The author makes Max’s growing discontent concrete, as her narration shifts from addressing Sadie directly (“You float, serene, while I am the one burdened with memories”) to referring to her in the third-person. By book’s end, Sadie is still part of Max’s story, but she’s no longer the reason for it. Ages 14–up. Agent: Amy Tipton, Signature Literary Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/06/2013 Release date: 06/04/2013 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.