Available June 3, 2014
Besides the deft plotting and writing, the believable characters and interesting setup, this book captures the uncertainty of being a teen, simultaneous with the pounding clarity of want (and don’t want). So many YA books, including the estimable ones to which this is being compared, have central characters whose desires are hard-edged, sure-footed, clear-eyed. Amy and Matt, especially Matt, are NOT so sure. Their days and nights are filled with the anxieties that exacerbate neurotic behavior, yet they struggle bravely on, never seeking the assurance of alcohol, video games, or extreme personal style statements. (There are some medications involved, but they do not constitute “drug use”.) Amy and Matt know without knowing that life is never going to be easier: her brains will never compensate completely for her cerebral palsy; his therapies and new-found friends will never wipe out his obsessive-compulsive urges altogether. The issues may evolve, but the coping never ends, and they have learned to help each other cope better.