cover image You’d Be Home Now

You’d Be Home Now

Kathleen Glasgow. Delacorte, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-70804-9

Sixteen-year-old Emory Ward, who cues as white, feels invisible. After she and her older brother Joey are in a car crash that kills another student, and heroin is found in Joey’s system, her life fractures. Her friends abandon her for her perceived part in their classmate’s death; her relationship with Joey, even after he returns from rehab, isn’t the same; and she shoplifts to ease the pain of not being seen. The teens’ mother, whose family built the mill that gave their small town its name, expects too much of both recovering Joey and “good” child Emory, but connecting with friends old and new allows Emory to finally begin building self-confidence and meaningfully support her brother. Glasgow (How to Make Friends with the Dark) tackles such difficult topics as classism and bigotry in the educational system, and draws struggles with addiction, especially Joey’s, with remarkable compassion. A melodramatic twist in the third act unfortunately undercuts the nuance established by the book’s beginning, but Emory and Joey’s journeys and sibling relationship are memorable, and the conclusion admirably humanizes a group of people whom society frequently demonizes. Ages 14–up. Agent: Julie Stevenson, Massie & McQuilkin Literary. (Sept.)