cover image The Do-Over

The Do-Over

Jennifer Honeybourn. Swoon Reads, $18.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-19468-8

While the premise isn’t new, Honeybourn (Just My Luck) infuses this lightly speculative rom-com with a compelling voice and some interesting twists. High school junior Emilia O’Malley, 16, thinks she’s living the dream when she starts dating hot basketball captain Ben Griffin and joins the popular crowd—but six months later, she’s miserable, and sorry she chose Ben over childhood friend Alistair Stewart. When a fortune-teller sells her a crystal that can change the past, Emilia erases the night she turned Alistair down. The next morning, Ben is out of the picture, yet she isn’t Alistair’s girlfriend, and there are dramatic alterations in Emilia’s new reality: her parents are divorcing, she has a job at the hardware store, and she’s close with a heartbroken queer coworker named Violet Chen. Readers may be as confused as the protagonist about her wish’s butterfly effect, as the causal threads between her initial conditions, the wish, and her new life are often imperceptible. More clearly defined, however, is Emilia’s self-transformation, as she learns that moving forward is more effective than looking back, and becoming less self-centered is the only way to set things right. Ages 13–18. [em]Agent: Hannah Fergesen, KT Literary. (July) [/em]