cover image When You Open Your Eyes

When You Open Your Eyes

Celeste Conway. Simon Pulse, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4424-3031-0

Conway (The Goodbye Time) pens an atmospheric novel set in Buenos Aires, where 16-year-old Tessa finds first love. Transplanted from suburban Virginia to Argentina by her controlling FBI agent father and self-absorbed mother, Tessa is immediately drawn to Lucien—the moody, artistic, and magnetic son of a French diplomat—even though her father forbids their relationship. Leaving her old life behind piece by piece, Tessa is drawn into a steamy clandestine romance with Lucien (“I want to fly away with him and never be left behind again”), as well as a life of partying with new friends who have the freedom she envies. But Lucien isolates Tessa as his behavior becomes increasingly unpredictable and violent; he pressures her into sex, leaves the country for weeks without calling, and plots a terrorist-inspired art project. Tessa’s meditative and intimate voice carries the story, as does the threat of Lucien’s instability. Thick with evocative descriptions of the subtle and not-so-subtle adaptations involved in living abroad, Conway’s story is gripping and memorable. Ages 14–up. Agent: Erica Rand Silverman, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Mar.)■