Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: June 1, 2011
Origins: From Publisher for Review
Order From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Alyssa thought she knew who she was. She had her family and her best friends and, most important, she had Sarah. Sarah, her girlfriend, with whom she dreamed with about the day they could move far away and live out and proud and accepted for themselves, instead of having to hide their relationship.
Alyssa never thought she would have to make that move by herself. But disowned by her father and cut off from everyone she loves, she is forced to move hundreds of miles away to live with Carly, the biological mother she barely knows, in a town where everyone immediately dismisses her as "Carly's girl." As Alyssa struggles to forget her past and come to terms with her future, will she be able to build a new life for herself and believe in love again? Or will she be forced to relive the mistakes that have cost her everything and everyone she cared about?
National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters has written a compelling novel about coming out, finding love, and discovering your place in the world. Alyssa's story will speak to anyone who has known the joy and pain of first love and the struggle to start over again.
Review: I laughed and cried while reading about Alyssa's journey to mend her broken life - which I read in one sitting on the way home from our summer camping trip. I think that Ms. Peters has captured the gritty reality of life for many gay teens and teens in general. I actually enjoyed that there wasn't the "uber-perfect" happy ending for Alyssa. We learn about how Alyssa got into her present situation through her memories scattered throughout the book while she navigates her new life with the mother who abandoned her years earlier. A very raw and emotional book that I feel will speak to a lot of people - older teens and adults alike. The characters were fully realized and weaved a heartbreaking and uplifting story filled with the cruelty, wonderment, and diversity life offers.