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by Kelis Rowe

Pub Date: May 31st, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-42925-9
Publisher: Crown

Two teens’ summer romance gets complicated by a long-kept family secret.

Jupiter Moon Ray Evans’ parents were in a car accident the day she was born—her father died, and her mom suddenly became both a widow and a mother. Ray is named after the dad she never knew, and his absence is a tangible part of her family. She hates that her birthday can never just be about her, but this year her best friend from boarding school is coming to Memphis, and they are celebrating at the roller rink, the one place Ray can get lost in her own world. While skating she meets Orion, and for both of them, it is love at first sight. Orion is also missing a piece of his family: Almost 10 years ago his little sister was hit and killed by a bus, and his happy family was destroyed. Orion finds a feeling of peace in swimming, which helps with his sensory processing disorder as well as providing an escape from his dad’s grief. Although the two Black teens will be in different states in the fall, they tentatively pursue a relationship. However, when a family secret that links them is revealed, they must decide if they can ever be anything to one another. Through a blend of prose and found poetry, this quiet novel thoughtfully explores the impact of absence on love.

An emotional debut that celebrates the joy that comes from healing.

(Fiction. 13-17)