A group of emancipated minors, many hiding secrets, share a house in LA's Venice Beach.
Candace and her stepsister, Grace, go to LA in hopes of furthering Candace's acting career. John-Michael, who spent a year living on the streets, leaves home for good after his homophobic father dies, apparently by suicide. Paolo, an all-American tennis pro, is emancipated so he can stay in California when his father's job moves to Mexico. Talented punk rocker Lucy Long keeps her past a secret, and the group's youngest, Maya, claims to be busy developing an app but may have a hidden agenda. Meanwhile, a mysterious woman named Ariana makes phone calls to a former child star who may have witnessed a murder. With so many point-of-view characters and not quite enough of anyone's checkered past revealed to pique readers' interest early on, the pace is initially slow. Action picks up, however, as the group throws boozy parties, romantic entanglements develop, and John-Michael is investigated by the police. When readers learn the story's secrets, it is often less from skillful plotting than because a character happens to mention a previously undisclosed detail. A few larger reveals tumble out by the end, but the conclusion is far more cliffhanger than resolution.
Enjoyably gossipy at times, but it takes some patience. (Fiction. 14-18)