A teenager disappears and leaves behind a quirky to-do list for her best friend.
It’s the beginning of summer, and Emily is disconsolate; her best friend, Sloane, is nowhere to be found. But she’s disappeared before; her parents would occasionally steal Sloane away for a few days, and she would return tanned and with travel tales to tell. Without Sloane, reticent Emily feels like she’s lost her spiritual and social tether. Finally, two weeks later, Sloane sends Emily a to-do list in the mail—but without a return address. The list includes daring, funny, incongruous items like “Hug a Jamie,” “Steal something,” and “Go skinny-dipping,” and with the completion of each task, Emily is coaxed farther out of her shell. She recounts the navigation of the deep, unfamiliar waters of self-discovery in a grave, meticulous past tense. As she’s on her way to complete the first item, she befriends Frank Porter—a handsome, kind and accomplished fellow student. Emily shares the list with him, and as Frank helps Emily cross off each item, their friendship deepens. Soon, Emily’s having to remind herself that Frank has a serious girlfriend out of state, and anyway, they are just friends, right? Interspersed flashbacks provide revealing background into Sloane and Emily’s friendship.
A winning blend of touching moments, memorable characters and situational humor takes readers to a surprising revelation at the story’s end. (Fiction. 12-16)