A teen struggles to explain her investment-manager mother’s actions after her mom is accused of fraud.
Wealthy high school junior Grace’s world collapses when the FBI raids her mom’s office in a high-profile investigation. Her mother suffers a stroke and is hospitalized, completely unresponsive. Grace has never known her father, and the backlash against her from her friends, whose families have all invested in her mom’s fund, is swift, leaving her alone and afraid. This dramatic novel switches between the time of the raid and several months into the future, as Grace sets out on a clandestine trip to a remote mountaintop in Colorado beloved by her mother and encounters her brooding classmate Sam, who has followed her. While the quick-paced opening will draw readers in and establish Grace as a sympathetic narrator, a predictable opposites-attract romance slows the middle section, as Grace and Sam zigzag lengthily back and forth across their feelings of attraction and distrust. Yet this story also features a satisfyingly unexpected and realistic ending that will likely surprise readers. Both Sam’s and Grace’s ethnicities are unspecified, establishing the white default: he is described as having dark hair and amber eyes, while Grace has brown hair and eyes.
An uneven novel of suspense and romance with a wilderness-survival flair. (Fiction. 14-18)