Teen love drama goes to summer stock.
Rainie Langdon’s friends know where their lives are headed, but the white girl’s own life is directionless. She has no goals, no follow-through. Enter “#nofilter-perfect” blond, blue-eyed white boy Tuck Brady. Tuck’s theater-class monologue about being adrift on the sea of life speaks to Rainie. Lightning strike! She’s found her passion, her purpose: Tuck. His attention to Rainie, nonexistent until now, is borderline creepy, but she wants him. Rainie convinces her former bestie, Ella Reynolds, also white, to pull some family strings so she can follow Tuck to summer stock. Upon finding out Tuck has a girlfriend, Rainie tries to bail, but frenemy Ella blackmails her into staying. Tuck is definitely interested in her, but he needs to remain faithful for the summer, and Rainie is fine being on hold until school starts. Enter boy No. 2: sexy, Mexican-American photographer Milo Cabrera. He’s available now and seems interested in Rainie, but he’s also Ella’s ex, which could mean more tension in the girls’ tenuous friendship. Does Rainie want to give up the ghost and pursue him instead? This rom-com follows a familiar, undemanding path. Though Klein plants several instances of metafictive irony about girls who care what boys think, Rainie is so single-minded it’s hard to tell whether this is intentionally tongue-in-cheek or coincidence.
Another romance about a girl who needs a boy to find her way. (Fiction. 12-16)