cover image Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line

Simone Elkeles. HarperTeen, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-264196-0

The latest novel from Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry) treads well-worn territory: hard-talking bad boy Ryan meets aloof, well-dressed rich girl Dalila. In chapters that alternate between the teens’ perspectives, plenty of sparks fly, resulting in ample melodrama. The first pages introduce a plethora of outsized details about Ryan: he’s been to “juvie,” he’s an aspiring boxer, his stepfather is the sheriff in their Texas border town, his mother is a “drunk,” and he’s poor. Dalila’s first chapter, which is peppered with Spanish words and phrases, drops a similar wealth of information: Dalila’s father is a famous lawyer, her wealthy family lives over the border in Mexico, they love boxing, they live in the shadow of the Mexican cartels, and Dalila is a self-described “tough chica” but with a heart of gold. Elkeles brings her two protagonists together in a forbidden entanglement replete with Shakespearean obstacles. The boxing thread adds a fresh element to the story, while fans hoping to encounter a familiar, romantic Elkeles plot will be pleased to find that she delivers. Ages 14–up. (June)