A girl on the run unexpectedly encounters a familiar face in this debut thriller.
Unable to remember details of the mob hit she witnessed six years earlier, high school senior Sloane Sullivan has changed her name 19 times so far—and learned to break free, blend in, and cut ties. Her parents are dead, but her guardian has kept her safe…until now. Newly arrived in North Carolina, Sloane just wants to finish high school, go to college, and escape both the witness protection program and the gangsters who want her dead, but when she discovers one of her new classmates is her childhood best friend and first love, black-haired, blue-eyed Jason Thomas, the chance to rekindle their romance makes Sloane reckless. Inevitably, Sloane (originally blonde and green-eyed) also attracts the amorous attentions of redheaded Sawyer and green-eyed, ethnically ambiguous Oliver—and the wrath of their ex-girlfriends. Having spent so much time assuming new identities, Sloane is nebulous as a character; her emotional journey is vivid but her history is vague. While there are enough twists to fill the Lifetime movie this novel resembles, and the marriage of torrid teen melodrama and an admittedly unrealistic crime story produces absurd (if action-packed) results, Cribbs excels at depicting complicated relationships and vulnerable characters.
A solid beach read filled with love triangles and high stakes. (Thriller. 14-18)