When Lucy learns that her mother’s cancer has reoccurred, she reacts with anger that affects her relationship with her parents, her boyfriend, and God.
The white high school junior has a pretty well-put-together life. She competes on the swim team, has a perfectly mannered boyfriend, and gets along well with her parents, especially her mom. When her mom’s breast cancer comes back, Lucy feels like it’s a betrayal. She did everything right the first time, from taking care of her mother to praying regularly, so why did the sickness come back? As she’s figuring out her new reality, her mother makes a special request, that she spend her summer at Daybreak, a camp for kids dealing with trauma. There, a diverse cast of characters, including a trans girl and people of color, help to expand her world. But is she wasting valuable time? Lucy’s problems are delivered with sensitivity and originality, plus romance, intrigue, and a little bit of mischief. The characters are well-written and complex, but toward the end, the plot strays into a series of over-the-top connections that erodes the suspension of disbelief. Lucy’s discoveries about her mom’s life multiply at too great a rate to be either believable or interesting.
A sweet story that trips on its own eagerness to tug at the heartstrings. (Fiction. 14-18)