cover image Trouble


Non Pratt. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4424-9772-6

Friendship, betrayal, lust, and love are recurring themes in U.K. editor/publisher Pratt’s first novel exploring the trials of a British teen after she finds out she is pregnant. Reluctant to reveal the identity of the baby’s father, 15-year-old Hannah is surprised and relieved when her new friend, Aaron, offers to pretend he is responsible. But Aaron’s motives run deeper than wanting to help Hannah: part of him hopes that acting nobly might make up for previous actions that ended in tragedy. Secrets about both characters, expressed in Hannah and Aaron’s alternating narratives, will pique the interest of readers as conflicts test their efforts to do the right thing. Hannah’s best friend turns a cold shoulder and spreads rumors about Hannah, while Aaron is unsuccessful at escaping ghosts of the past as he becomes more intricately involved with Hannah. Pratt eloquently shows how empathy and compassion cause hope to spring from despair. The teens’ growing trust for each other gives them both strength and comfort, helping them survive heated family battles, broken relationships, and truths they find hard to admit. Ages 14–up. (June)