Summer romance interrupts a teen girl’s focused path to a Ph.D.
Devon has wanted to become an astrophysicist since she was a kid; one night of watching the stars on a camping trip to Yellowstone and she fell in love. With her sights set on a competitive, top-notch college program, Devon prioritizes school above everything else. The summer she is 16, while visiting the beach with her cousin, Devon meets Ashton, and suddenly she has two loves—astronomy and him. However, on what should be their final day together, Ashton never shows. A year passes with no word, and then, on the first day of senior year, Ashton reappears. He reveals that he suffers from depression and that his wealthy white family’s pressure to be someone he is not and to leave Devon because she is middle-class and biracial (her mom is black and her dad is white) overwhelmed him. The pair reunite, but Ashton’s depression and mental health struggles increase, and Devon is left trying to choose where to focus her energy—school or boyfriend. Astronomy facts are interspersed throughout the text, demonstrating Devon’s obsession, but never interrupt the narrative. Debut author Davis provides a new take on the archetypal first love novel by tackling the impact of mental health, race, and class wars.
A moving love story, timely given the pervasiveness of mental health crises. (Fiction. 14-18)