cover image The Key to You and Me

The Key to You and Me

Jaye Robin Brown. HarperTeen, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-282458-5

When white, openly queer Piper Kitt has her heart broken seven weeks prior to the start of the novel, the pining Olympic dressage hopeful decides to flee Massachusetts for a summer in Harmon, N.C., “a haven for retirees from colder places and the horse show elite,” where her maternal grandmother can introduce her to “new trainers at a world-class facility.” Meanwhile, Harmon local Kat Pearson, 18, also white, isn’t one to experiment publicly, so she keeps her possible queerness quiet. Then Piper’s grandmother insists Piper learn to drive, and Kat seizes the opportunity for a job. Their mutual attraction is apparent, but Piper is not over her ex-girlfriend, and Kat just wants someone to talk to about her sexuality. As different as the two rising seniors are, they are also clearly right for each other, enough that readers may initially be impatient with their hesitation. Brown focuses on a horse scene without explaining dressage, which may leave some readers confused about specifics, but witnessing the slow-burn relationship play out through alternately narrated chapters ends up working not only for the characters, but for readers, whose impatience will be replaced by satisfaction. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners. (Apr.) [/em]