The closing of two high schools results in strife between rival gangs.
Emanuella “LL” Harvey’s brother, Warp, and his friends are deeply suspicious of graffiti artist Haze and his group. Though Haze and LL share an instant attraction when their schools consolidate, acting on it could further heighten tensions. The challenge of keeping Warp and Haze apart gets harder after pictures of her done in Haze’s style begin appearing on walls around town. Their secret, budding relationship, along with Haze’s determination to learn who murdered his sister, are set against LL’s efforts in her brother’s parcours group: athletic young people who practice the sport of dashing through city streets, overcoming obstacles by running, leaping, and jumping. LL has responded to the loss of her mother, the frequent absences of her trucker dad, and too many older brothers by becoming outspoken and daring; her voice is strong and authentic. There is much else to admire in this debut novel. The depiction of the sport of parcours brings distinctive action to the narrative. LL and her brother are mixed-race, introduced as a characteristic rather than a major issue. Secondary characters are well-drawn, especially the troubled Warp and his good friend Surge. The twists and resolution are satisfying, though the writing sags at times, and a gymnastics subplot disappears, leaving readers wondering.
Intriguing characters, a different take on an urban landscape, and the element of mystery will captivate readers. (Mystery. 12-18)