In a small town in North Carolina, a close friendship between two eccentric high schoolers breaks apart, leaving a rift.
Lula and Rory have always had two things in common: their outcast status and their love of the 1990s paranormal TV series The X-Files. Rory is generally overlooked by his classmates. Lula's "weird girl" moniker comes from her being both bookish and outspoken and taking after her equally headstrong grandfather. Rory, who is out to Lula as gay, nevertheless keeps secret his illicit relationship with his middle-aged boss, Andy, an equivocal divorcé who continually deflects Rory's questions about their future. One night, after one of Rory and Andy's many fights, Lula discovers the relationship and confronts Rory. Later that night, she disappears. The void left by Lula's disappearance is palpable and leads both estranged friends down surprising paths. Rory narrates the first half of the book and Lula, the second, and both voices are crisply and intimately drawn. Minor characters are equally vibrant, particularly Walter, Lula's rugged but kind stepfather, and Seth, the school's unexpectedly wholesome and gentle quarterback. The X-Files, the details of which both Lula and Rory lovingly recount, provides a strong common language and set of symbols throughout.
Carefully and subtly imagined. (Fiction. 14-18)