The summer before her senior year of high school, a girl who seemingly has it all—money, looks, smarts and social position—falls for a dazzlingly handsome but mildly unsuitable boy.
Leah Johnson is not the captain of her own ship. Although she knows how to drive, Leah prefers to let others take the wheel. Without much effort or thought, she drifts along in the wake of her perfect sisters, assuming, like the Johnson she is, that she’ll be homecoming queen and then valedictorian. Although the pressure to be just like her sisters causes some minor chafing, and she’s indifferent to the charms of her handsome, wealthy, athletic boyfriend, it’s a dream life, and it never occurs to Leah not to meet everyone’s expectations. Until she falls for Jon Duffy, a boy who doesn’t quite fit the expected mold. This overwhelming rush of feeling wakes Leah up, and Duffy becomes the catalyst she needs to look at herself and her life choices in a different light. It’s a fine premise, but her struggle is tepid, and Leah is so insipid and so completely disconnected from the wider world that the sympathy she generates is muted.
Although the most intriguing thread of the book is familial, this tame G-rated story will appeal largely to girls who enjoy romances. (Fiction. 13 & up)