A girl looks for definition during the undefinable time before her senior year of high school.
The arrival of Silas shakes up the small town of Green Lake—and preacher’s kid Westlin's life. Her everyday routine of dating a football star and running an auto-detailing business is upended by the mystery of Silas. He's mercurial, curious, and quirky, and there's something strange about his twin sister, Laurel. The more she learns about Silas, the more West likes him, and good-guy boyfriend Elliot pales increasingly by comparison. Everything about Silas seems perfect, even when Laurel’s bad days intrude: there are long conversations about the future, wacky adventures, and nights spent listening to their favorite radio program (a fictional cognate to such documentary shows as This American Life). But when tragedy strikes, West is left wondering how she should shape her life. What defines her, and who can help her with this task? Sommers’ debut is languidly paced, befitting the season, and somewhat overpopulated with characters, which further slows things down. Still, many readers will identify with bookish, story-loving West and her frustration with her moment in life.
A satisfyingly realistic portrait of small-town life and one girl's spiritual and emotional maturation within it. (Fiction. 14-18)