Definitions of Indefinable Things

Whitney Taylor. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-544-80504-0
Reggie Mason, a snarky 11th-grade loner who uses hurtful comments and hostile glares to avoid forming connections, finds herself drawn to the charmingly conceited Snake Eliot when their paths cross while refilling prescriptions for antidepressants. After grudgingly going on an “anti-date” with the tenacious Snake, Reggie learns that he’s a soon-to-be father—and the boyfriend of popular classmate Carla Banks. Reggie struggles to ignore her attraction to Snake and Carla’s attempts at friendship, but her carefully constructed wall begins to crumble as her strained relationship with her religious mother worsens: “All she saw in me was a walking mistake, a sin to be forgiven, a disease to be cured.” Taylor portrays depression with complexity in this authentic, often confrontational debut; her characters are very real, frequently making terrible and selfish decisions, and their potential is evident. Reggie’s growth is particularly notable as she finally confronts her grief and fear, allowing herself to be vulnerable. Taylor offers no simple answers about depression, teen pregnancy, or complicated relationships, but leaves readers with an enduring sense of hope. Ages 14–up. Agent: Maria Vicente, P.S. Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
Release date: 04/04/2017
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-328-69569-7
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