Come as You Are

Jennifer Haupt. Central Avenue, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-1-77168-225-1

Haupt’s middling latest (after In the Shadow of a Thousand Hills) follows a tumultuous romance between an aspiring grunge rocker and a music fan who grow up together in Seattle. Skye and Zane first meet at 12 and 14, respectively, in the late 1980s and bond over their interest in the local music scene. They’re just friends, but when Skye is 17, they hook up and she gets pregnant. After her sister Lauren’s accidental death, she flees Seattle to a small Texas town where Zane, who had occasionally slept with Lauren and dated Lauren’s mean-spirited cheerleader friend during high school, finds her, and they resettle in Los Angeles. After a tumultuous life with him in L.A., during which his rock-star plans are derailed by drug addiction (but not his “strategically ripped fishnets”), he leaves her and their daughter, Montana. Later, Skye settles in Albuquerque with good guy Aaron, to whom she’s cautiously engaged. After Skye’s father dies, Zane tells her he wants another chance and that he’s changed. Despite the red flags, Skye lets Montana have a relationship with her dad, and he makes decisions for their daughter without Skye’s input. This, coupled with her hesitation to commit to Aaron, jeopardizes their engagement. Haupt’s narrative is as aimless as Zane’s life, and the drama often feels forced. This is an easy one to pass. (Mar.)