A pregnant teen takes a cross-country trip to find the father she never knew.
When Lemon seduces the lowlife her mother has been flirting with, she precipitates yet another move to yet another small town and ends up pregnant. Contemplating the same kind of young single-motherhood that has defined her peripatetic, alcoholic mother's life makes her want to find her father. With a friend whose own father has recently been deployed to the Middle East, she boards a Greyhound and heads to San Francisco. There she finds a boy, her father and a new sense of self. Madonia lets Lemon narrate her story in a hyperaware past tense that unfurls in weighty, lyrically stated revelations: "…I realized I had become a girl worth talking about, a person worth remembering once I moved away." Unfortunately, this tendency to look for insight everywhere drags this book down. As Lemon moves deliberately through her journey of self-discovery, it becomes more a series of often-repetitive epiphanies than a story, her pregnancy a mere plot device to get her from one to the next. This is reinforced by the fact that Lemon's introspection never includes her response to the discovery that she is pregnant, an omission that will leave readers wondering why she withholds this when she shares everything else.
Though beautifully told, an ultimately unsatisfying sojourn in one girl's psyche. (Fiction. 14 & up)