After her new girlfriend dies unexpectedly, Alix discovers that the relationship was not all she had thought.
The unlikely nature of Swanee’s death—a sudden collapse while running despite a lack of known health concerns—receives oddly little attention. Instead, the focus is on her double life. In her grief, Alix finds Swanee’s cellphone and discovers text messages that lead her to Liana Torres, whom it turns out Swanee was dating in secret alongside Alix. There is dramatic potential between Alix and Liana as the two uncover Swanee’s many lies and manipulations, but it doesn’t really deliver. In fact, the story feels phoned in. A subplot involving Swanee’s troubled sister is poorly fleshed out. A series of text messages Alix sends Liana from Swanee’s phone are regrettable but too seemingly small a transgression for the amount of emphasis placed on them. Alix moves—with very little explanation to readers—from just barely feeling ready to have sex to initiating it almost without thinking. Most unsatisfying is the unquestioned premise that head-over-heels serial monogamy is the only imaginable approach to dating for lesbian teens. Swanee’s mom’s suggestion that her daughter “was too young to be serious about just one person” is treated with as much knee-jerk horror and disgust as Swanee’s deceptions.
Enjoyable as a romance but lacking in substance. (Fiction. 14-18)