cover image Red Dirt

Red Dirt

Anna Jarzab. Harlequin Teen, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-373-21251-4

Sammy Lester has just graduated from high school and has no plans for the summer or beyond, other than helping her father, Bobby Ray, keep partial custody of her half-sister, Decca, and spending time with her best friend before Kenley leaves Lake Bittersweet, Okla., for beauty school. Things get a little more exciting (and complicated) when Sammy meets Brayton Foster, a wealthy city boy and the stepson of the man trying to turn Lake Bittersweet into a luxury resort. When Sammy’s father goes missing and the prime suspect is Redbreast Tuller and his band of unruly drug dealers, she takes the law into her own hands. Through Sammy’s colloquial, hard-edged narration, Jarzab (the Many-Worlds series) persuasively evokes life in a small, poor town where most people live in trailers, work odd jobs, or do manual labor. She gives equal weight to the budding romance between Sammy and Brayton and the mystery of Bobby Ray’s disappearance in what gradually builds into a violent, high-stakes story. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Aug.) [/em]