cover image Someone Like Summer

Someone Like Summer

M. E. Kerr, . . HarperTempest, $15.99 (263pp) ISBN 978-0-06-114099-0

Kerr (Your Eyes in Stars ) gives a sensitive rendering of a biracial romance in this timely novel about a white teen’s infatuation with an illegal immigrant. Understated yet emotionally charged prose expresses 17-year-old Annabel Brown’s initial attraction to Esteban Santiago as she watches him play soccer and listens to him sing at a local night club. Their first few encounters are blissful, but complications soon arise due to their families’ mutual disapproval. Esteban’s older sister, Gioconda, calls Annabel a “white whore” and Annabel’s father, who runs a construction company, views Esteban with as little regard as he does other “muchacho” laborers, especially when Esteban bungles a roofing job when substituting for one of Mr. Brown’s workers. Forbidden to date Esteban or even talk to him on the phone, Annabel meets him secretly, but as with most Romeo and Juliet -type tales, their relationship cannot withstand social pressures and prejudice. Showcasing the tension created by resentments and fear of that which is different, the author pointedly conveys the plight of immigrants and the ineffectiveness of government policies. Although Annabel is heartbroken when Esteban joins the army as a means to obtain a green card, she gains deep respect and affection for another culture and for new immigrants striving to attain the American dream. Ages 12-up. (July)