cover image Not Like You

Not Like You

Deborah Davis. Clarion Books, $16 (268pp) ISBN 978-0-618-72093-4

In a sensitively wrought story about betrayal and forgiveness, Davis (The Secret of the Seal) examines the rocky relationship between a promiscuous teen and her alcoholic mother. Fifteen-year-old Kayla has had a series of short-term, unfulfilling romances, but these are not the only impermanent aspect of her life. Whenever her mother gets the whim, they move to a new location where her mother gets another dead-end job and soon resumes binge drinking. Kayla doubts that things will be any different in New Mexico, but manages to make some new friends, including Shirley and Sherrie, the slightly eccentric owners of a used clothing store, and Remy, a struggling musician who is more mature and sensitive than other boys Kayla has known. When Remy moves to Denver to pursue his musical career, Kayla plans to follow him; when she is met with a less than enthusiastic reception, she realizes she must take control of her own destiny. Honestly depicting adolescent emotions, the author faithfully renders Kayla's vulnerabilities, longings and uncertainties. Teens feeling trapped by circumstance will relate to Kayla's dilemmas and may even learn from her mistakes. Ages 14-up.