A teenage girl struggles with class divisions, sex and the tricky art of communication.
Gwen, whose family struggles to make ends meet, is an islander, while Cass Somers is a rich boy who lives across the bridge on the mainland. The two have had some romantic moments, but miscommunication, misinterpretation and fear keep them from moving forward. Complicating things is the well-known fact that Gwen has had sex with Cass’ best friend. Despite Gwen’s deep regrets, the damage has been done. But now it is the summer before their senior year, and among Gwen’s hopes for the summer is to forget Cass. But it seems fate has thrown them together: Cass’ father has ordered him to do yardwork on the island, while Gwen has been hired to care for a funny, feisty elderly woman whose lawn needs tending. On her first day of the job, Gwen discovers Cass is also there for the duration of the summer. What starts out as snappy chick-lit writing quickly becomes deeper and more complex, as Fitzpatrick beautifully portrays a teenager’s wobbly foray into sex as well as her dawning awareness of the power that actions and incautiously chosen words have to hurt others. A late revelation will surprise readers as much as it does Gwen; natural dialogue and authentic characters abound.
Much deeper than the pretty cover lets on. (Fiction. 14 & up)