Unrequited love is always a painful trip, especially if you’re a teenager who falls pretty far outside the popular crowd.
Josh Shine is excellent at math, short, and outspoken—which means he doesn’t get along well with the popular people at his school. When he first sees Jenevieve Capistrano, he can’t imagine what Jena would ever see in him, but once they start serendipitously talking after her dad finds him in a tree, it turns out they have more in common than is evident at first glance. A comfortable friendship ensues, but Josh wants more—he just doesn’t know how to tell her. It’s hard for Josh to be her fallback friend, and it’s hard for his real friends to watch him bend over backward to please her. Descriptions give the impression of a mostly white cast of characters sharing the narrative, which bounces disconcertingly from point of view to point of view. While there is no new ground being explored in this book, Sheldon again proves herself adept at conveying the confusion and gnawing self-doubt that characterize the lives of teenagers, who are all trying to see themselves and one another as clearly as they can.
A fairly sweet addition to a fairly crowded genre. (Fiction. 12-15)