Breakfast Served Anytime

Sarah Combs. Candlewick, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6791-7
Combs's debut introduces a vivid, self-aware protagonist at a significant juncture in her life. A sensitive introvert with a penchant for believing in signs, Gloria spends the summer before her senior year on a college campus at a four-week camp for gifted students. There, she enrolls in "Secrets of the Written Word," offered by eccentric Professor X, who challenges his students to leave all "technoparaphernalia" at home, resulting in a very small class of willing participants. Gloria surrenders herself to the immediacy of her surroundings, untethered from social media, immersed in literature, and experiencing independence for the first time. She quickly bonds with fellow students who cause her to question her political, social, and philosophical values, as well as her desires for the future. Infused with romance and intellectual energy, Combs's story eloquently captures the euphoria and transformation that can arise from an intense period of personal introspection. Gloria's Whitmanesque quest for visceral experience is exciting and inspiring, as is her ability to recognize the significance of quiet moments as they unfold. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-7636-8752-6
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