cover image The Mall

The Mall

Megan McCafferty. Wednesday, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-20995-5

With wit and more than a little hairspray, McCafferty (True to Your Selfie) dives into the 1990s with this snappily written self-empowerment novel set beneath the fluorescent lights of a suburban New Jersey mall. Cassie Worthy has life after high school all planned out: at summer’s end, she’s heading from New Jersey to Manhattan to attend college near—but not with—Troy, her boyfriend of two years. They’re the ultimate power couple, but their plan radically shifts after Cassie’s recovery from mono and their subsequent breakup. Her job selling cookies at the mall isn’t as great as she’d hoped it would be, and she discovers that what she knew about life, love, and friendship aren’t even close to reality. A Cabbage Patch Kid–related treasure hunt for a cash stash takes Cassie on a winding path through the mall with her former best friend. The real find, though, is her journey of self-discovery, complete with the requisite coming-of-age tropes. Though some ’90s references may be unfamiliar to today’s teens, readers will easily be able to identify with Cassie’s struggles, tribulations, and triumphs. Ages 13–up. Agents: Sara Shandler, Alloy; Heather Schroder, Compass Talent Agency. (July)