cover image Crash


Lisa McMann. Simon Pulse, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0391-8

A key role in running the family restaurant is a lot for any kid to handle; simultaneously protecting a gay brother and a mentally ill father is more than enough complication. High school sophomore Jules Demarco has it even worse: she’s also in love with “the enemy”—Sawyer Angotti, whose family runs a rival restaurant. She keeps her balance until billboards around town begin showing her a crashing truck and body bags. Only Jules sees these harbingers of doom, and soon they’re everywhere, in steadily increasing detail—detail that shows that one of those body bags belongs to Sawyer. McMann’s (Wake) new series has a well- realized, amusing narrator and great realism in the details of restaurant management and family dysfunction. The questionable part is Jules’s visions; there’s no reason why this Romeo and Juliet romance needs precognition to work. So little rationale is given for them that it’s difficult to see how the device will plausibly support more books. However thin the pretext, though, Jules’s voice is quirky and fun—there’s plenty of reason to read on. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Jan.)