A text-messaging accident leads to romance.
Keeley’s twin, Zach, has always stood out, with lots of friends and football-star status. Keeley’s best friend, Nicky, is busy with a summer school class at a community college, leaving the white teen feeling somewhat left out. A phone mix-up and an initial texting spree connect Keeley and Talon, a boy she’s never met. The first-person narrative shows Keeley to be combatively flirty, while Talon’s macho bravado is clearly a smoke screen. The phone interactions, represented by iconic text-message bubbles, are critical to the plot, integrated into a story that feels otherwise somewhat outdated. There’s little angst, naughty behavior including alcohol is offstage for the most part, and Keeley’s and Zach’s parents are conveniently clueless though lovingly interested in their offspring. All of the teens are seniors looking toward college and with serious plans for the future, making them feel rather vanilla, an impression that is reinforced by an apparent absence of diversity in race, ethnicity, and class. The one exception is Talon’s mother, Darlene, who makes a cameo as an outrageously costumed, blonde cowgirl with a Texas accent. The connection between the twins helps to provide some emotional weight, as does a social media scandal that causes trouble between Talon and Keeley.
Blandly engaging. (Romance. 12-16)