Letters from the past are interspersed into a free-verse chronicle of a crucial day for two teens who meet by chance at a beach town.
Amber heads out to the beach for a day by herself away from the family she loves, and, through a chance encounter with Cade, makes a lifetime connection, as this is also a critical day for him. Cade recognizes Amber as a child who was switched at birth in the hospital. Her birth parents have gone to court to have her live with them for half the year; the child they raised has died. Amber’s anxious and angry, and somehow Cade is the balance she needs, due to his own mysterious challenges. Sometimes the poetry just tells the story, and other times it is almost too precious: “Lips on lips, / feel the heat. / Silky soft, / honey sweet.” Teen jargon (including some cursing) appears just often enough to feel realistic, and it helps to keep the cloying effect of the plot line in check. Unfortunately, as the day goes on, the intensity of this brand-new relationship that's been forged in moments strains credulity. Like the limo ride from home to the beach, the connections over shared music and the secret Cade shares that makes him so vulnerable, it’s all a tad overdone.
Melodrama heightened by romance. (Fiction. 12-16)