Some Other Now

Sarah Everett. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-358-25186-6
Jessi Rumfield, who has “brown skin and a thick, curly mane of hair,” is a biracial 17-year-old living in the mostly white town of Winchester. Her biological family consists of her white optometrist mother, whose untreated depression began postpartum, and her Black father, who tries to balance running their eye clinic, EyeCon, with parenting. But Jessi’s chosen family—half-white, half-Filipino Rowan, her best friend for a decade; his 18-year-old brother Luke; and their Filipina mother, Mel—fills her familial-love-shaped void. That is, until one day at the Cohens’ home, when Mel, whom Jessi considers her second mother, prepares to tell them her diagnosis, and Ro tells Jessi to go home. After learning that Mel is terminally ill with what she deems her “Big Bad,” Jessi’s relationships with Rowan and Luke begin to shift as they all attempt to cope with Mel’s declining health—especially when a white lie intended to cheer Mel transforms into something more. Drawing a resonant, impactful journey alternating between “Then” and “Now,” Everett skillfully unpacks grief, guilt, and love through the lens of teens learning to navigate life’s twists and turns. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary and Media. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 02/25/2021
Release date: 02/23/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-0-358-35904-3
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