Age Range: 12 - 14
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A variety of issues—death, love, Christianity, and homosexuality—reside uncomfortably in this YA novel. Amy, 16, has recently lost her mother, to whom she was extremely close. Amy’s father, a pastor, is busy mending other lives, finding it too agonizing to examine his own grief or his daughter’s intense sorrow. As closed off from her father as she is from his church, Amy no longer soothes herself with thoughts of heaven and hope. She relies instead on her friendship with Sara, a more sophisticated and lively character, for emotional sustenance. Eventually however, Sara’s burgeoning friendship with newcomer Anita becomes impossible to ignore. Amy is stunned when she sees them holding hands in a theater, and turns to Peter, waiting in the wings, a church-going, charming, gentle young man who helps rebuild her trust in others. Torres opens a dialogue on the church’s views of homosexuality, timidly suggesting that although the church and its members frown on same-sex relationships, in real life, personal bonds may be more powerful than belief systems. She succeeds in enveloping readers in the nuances of young love, self-doubt, and the pain of losing a parent; depending on readers’ own levels of innocence, Amy’s ingenuousness and her clinging behavior will either be credible or simply dismaying. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1999
ISBN: 0-8234-1464-7
Page count: 171pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1999