Four teens may have more similarities than they realize as they navigate adolescence—what seems like the end of the world.
The solitude of the communal spiritual retreat where Wolf lives is interrupted when shotgun-toting, possibly brainwashed Nicole moves to the adjacent property to live off the grid with her survivalist father, Khmer Rouge–survivor mother, and boy-crazy younger sister, Isabel. Added to the mix is Laurel, who lost her parents when they left the commune in an acid-induced haze and now idolizes Wolf’s addict mother. Told from the teens’ varying perspectives, the story begins to unfold when Nicole and Isabel’s restless mother disappears and their controlling father takes off to find her. As the four teens weave in and out of each other's lives during the summer and face a disaster not even a survivalist can prepare for, they find both resilience and respect for each other. While Laurel’s and Isabel’s narratives are interesting, they serve more to promote Wolf and Nicole’s initial friendship, which builds to first love. The teens often exude a quiet, adult wisdom that will resonate with thoughtful readers, who will discover the connections among the seemingly different characters.
For soul searchers. (Fiction. 14 & up)