A teen who resuscitates her mother after she almost dies by suicide is packed off for the summer to the seaside in Ireland, where she falls for Liam, who lives there.
Emerald is uneasy with the cruel way her social media–focused friends treat others at their English school, but she’s already stretched thin trying to conceal her unhappy home life. Her busy father is constantly away, and though they’ve been estranged for years from her grandmother for reasons that are unclear to Emerald, it is to her home that her dad brings her when Emerald’s mom begins in-patient alcohol treatment. Family tension and secrets abound for both Emerald and Liam, who are both white, and the novel alternates narration between them. The realistic, respectful, and sweet relationship that develops between the pair is sure to appeal to romance fans, and the expectation that Liam feels from his father to abandon his considerable music talent in favor of building management will be easily recognizable to many teens. Though the early theme about the pressures of social media seems to largely disappear after Emerald decides to sign off of her accounts and most elements of this drama are familiar territory, the well-drawn Irish cultural details set it apart, and a late plot twist will take many by surprise.
Overall, a satisfying and romantic debut. (Romance. 14-18)