cover image Forever for a Year

Forever for a Year

B.T. Gottfred. Holt, $17.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-62779-191-5

Carolina Fisher is a newly minted high-school freshman with big hopes for the year ahead. Trevor Santos is a jaded transfer student from California, who isn’t interested in anything his new Illinois school has to offer—until he meets Carolina. Writing in the teenagers’ alternating perspectives, debut author Gottfred captures the starry-eyed exhilaration of first love (and nervous first explorations of sex) with tenderness and humor. Wearing her heart and her insecurities on her sleeve, Carolina is exuberant in her joy about Trevor (“I said I liked a boy to his face. And he said he liked me. What did this mean? I must know what this means or I will die”), while Trevor’s self-delusion that he isn’t falling hard for Carolina and his reflections on the looming family problems they both face are just as honest and realistic. In short, Gottfred’s characters actually sound, think, and act like real people, not the polished, best versions of themselves. Readers will need hearts of steel not to fall for this love story and its two storytellers. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (July)