High school senior MacKenzie Rivers has been avoiding twins Jaden and Danielle Hunter ever since their parents died in a car crash the August before junior year.
Four years ago, Kenzie and her parents lost her baby sister, Grace, and her parents were irrevocably changed by their grief. She could not imagine that Jaden and Danielle—her crush and former friend, respectively—would be the same after their loss and could not bear to see them broken. Unable to cope and unsure how to behave around them, she managed to avoid them for a year—but after Kenzie runs into Dani in a Dairy Queen, the three begin to hang out again. Kenzie and Jaden start dating, and Dani finally seems to be on the road to healing. But Kenzie learns a terrible secret about the night the Hunters died, and she has to decide what she’s going to do next. Maskame (Did I Mention I Miss You?, 2016, etc.) creates well-rounded characters with believable flaws. Readers watch them struggle as they try to make the best decisions they can; character development is at the heart of the story. Refreshingly, the teenage romantic relationship portrayed here is actually a healthy one, avoiding many common tropes and showing that vulnerability and honesty are everything. All characters are presumed white, and one secondary character is gay.
A beautiful romance for readers who appreciate a character-driven novel. (Romance. 14-18)