Sometimes secrets twist and turn, leading to mistrust and pain.
Lizzy Swift has epilepsy. She never speaks of it, even to those who know of her condition. She is always worried that she will have a full-blown seizure or that others will notice her petit mal lapses. She and her best friends, Gage and Mimi, are the nerds of the senior class at their all-girls school near Philadelphia. Claire is a new girl, eccentric and with her own mysterious secrets, who draws Lizzy into a different, sometimes-uncomfortable sphere, and Lizzy never knows how Claire will behave toward her. Her longtime secret crush, Matt, is now her boyfriend, and his secrets are even more subtle and hard for her to fathom. Confusing her further is her strong reaction to Mimi’s brother, Theo, who appears when he is needed. Divided into the three seasons of the 1988-89 school year, there are many references to the pop culture and musical groups of the era that modern readers might not recognize. Everything is told in Lizzy’s voice with her own flawed insights and limitations. Characters and events seem to float in and out of the plot, and a seemingly pat conclusion leaves one very important unanswered question. Major characters are white apart from Mimi and Theo, who are Korean-American.
Readers will relate to compassionate, confused Lizzy but might find the overloaded plot hard going. (Fiction. 14-18)