She Loves You, She Loves You Not...
Julie Anne Peters. Little, Brown/Tingley, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-07874-0
When 17-year-old Alyssa's homophobic father kicks her out, she goes to live with the mother she barely knows, a stripper who her father suspects to be a "high-class hooker." But Alyssa has her own secrets, including what exactly happened with her ex-girlfriend the night "it all came crashing down." Peters (Rage: A Love Story) interweaves flashbacks about Alyssa's relationship with Sarah with her new life in Colorado, where she waitresses at a greasy diner, develops a new crush, and learns about past traumas her mother has packed away. There is an excess of plot points to track, and some characters feel scripted%E2%80%94such as Alyssa's gruff, wheelchair-bound boss%E2%80%94but readers will appreciate Alyssa's honesty as she slowly reveals the details of her desperate break-up with Sarah, after which Alyssa's behavior veered into stalking ("I have no control over myself; not then, not now. Even though I knew it was over, I just needed to hear the words from her own lips"). Readers will also respect Peters's choice to give Alyssa new hope without tying up all the loose ends in her life. Ages 15%E2%80%93up. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/18/2011