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SURFACE TENSION by Brent Runyon Kirkus Star


A Novel in Four Summers

by Brent Runyon

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 10th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-84446-1
Publisher: Knopf

Over four summers at a small cottage on a lake, carefree 13-year-old Luke, eager to locate the perfect “luckystone,” turns into an adventurous 14-year-old who tries nonchalantly to sneak peeks at his neighbor’s breasts and then an easily annoyed 15-year-old who realizes his parents’ faults and just wants “to get the fuck out of here.” The results of a near-disaster remind a love-crazed 16-year-old why the lake is still his “favorite place in the world.” Luke’s sharp, often humorous first-person narration (“It’s not even the losing that bothers me that much. It’s just how everybody turns into such an asshole when they’re playing Monopoly”) shows keen insight into a teenage boy’s mind. But the teen’s not the only one who’s different each year. His once-annoying childhood friend, Claire, becomes interesting; his tidy-homeowner neighbor becomes exceedingly obsessed with his lawn; his parents suddenly seem like real people. With sensitivity and candor, Runyon reveals how life changes us all and how these unavoidable changes can be full of both turmoil and wonder. (Fiction. YA)