Things have been tense at 17-year-old Nick’s home since his alcoholic mother, a renowned college professor, has returned from rehab. So, Nick is relieved when his father arranges for him to go away for the summer, even if it’s only to a “hick” beach town to stay with his aunt, uncle, and cousins, which couldn’t be more different from the college town of Eugene, Ore., where Nick was raised. It doesn’t take long, though, for him to settle into his job at his uncle’s car wash and start partying with some of the locals. After he becomes attracted to Phoebe, a slightly older girl who carries an aura of mystery, his interest turns to obsession, and Nick finds himself on a slippery slope, holding fast to romantic fantasies that can never come true. With a cinematographer’s eye, Nelson (Recovery Road) captures the essence of small-town life, as well as the various forms of escape people use to forget their desperation. Nick’s inner transformations are gradual and realistic, allowing readers to understand how significantly he has been impacted by his troubled home life and to empathize with his struggle to navigate overwhelming emotions. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2018 Release date: 06/19/2018 Genre: Children's
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