cover image Life in the Desert

Life in the Desert

Tres Seymour. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (90pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05458-1

One day Rebecca notices that one of her classmates, a thin boy with haunting green eyes, seems a million miles away. Becoming friends with him, she discovers that Joseph, under extraordinary pressure from his parents, has retreated into his own world--The Desert. Rebecca accidentally betrays Joseph's trust, and the boy's subsequent alienation and depression lead him to attempt suicide. Seymour delicately explores the extremes of adolescent angst in this short, focused story. Calling to mind the solidarity seen in the teen-oriented movie The Breakfast Club , this debut novel has a buoyant message and perspicacious first-person narrator that--despite the book's bland, unappealing jacket--should find favor with YA readers. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)