Goth girl Jade Leighton was 5 when her mother died in the car accident that left her physically and emotionally scarred.
To cope, Jade purposely shut off her emotions. Now 17, numbness remains her standard way of moving through the world. Her emotional detachment prevents her from really being there for her friends, and she hurts them instead. Then, in a dream, she receives a warning from her mother that things are about to change. And change they do: After she hits her head, Jade wakes up to a world in which everything is the opposite of what it was, including her former unpopularity. She’s now the queen bee, and all the cool people—kids and adults—are goths too. Her archnemesis, Mercedes, formerly the most popular girl, is now public enemy No. 1. Unfortunately, Mercedes is the only other person aware that things are not as usual—and the two girls now need to work together to get back to their real lives. But how? Is there something they’re supposed to learn? Jade’s first-person narration is a little heavy on the “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” message, but it’s a fun read nonetheless. Diversity is light; of Jade’s three best friends, two have surnames that suggest they are Southeast Asian and Latinx, while all others assume a white default.
Should appeal to fans of realism-based what-if? narratives. (Fantasy. 12-18)