A chance waiting-room meeting sparks romance.
Everly, a successful, white high school senior, manages occasional panic attacks with her therapist’s help. When catching her boyfriend making out with her best friend escalates the panic attacks, Everly’s therapist suggests new coping tools. They help Everly reduce her negative thoughts and incrementally face her worst fears. The therapy sessions also unexpectedly provide opportunities for Everly to connect with handsome, white Gabe, another student from her school with captivating multicolored eyes. He quickly becomes another positive in her life, playfully and gently teasing Everly while also allowing her to share her lingering pain about the bad breakup. In return, Everly supports Gabe as he tackles his fears following his sister’s recent suicide attempt and her ongoing challenges with managing her bipolar symptoms. Both Everly and Gabe develop positive relationships with their therapists in a refreshing departure from the multitude of teen characters who reject all professional interventions. Everly and Gabe’s relationship also avoids clichés: neither character is “fixing” the other; instead, each respects the other’s emotional journey. This mutual admiration forms the foundation for the believable support they offer each other during difficult moments. And the genuineness of their emotional connection makes their scorching intimate scenes even sexier (as does the welcome inclusion of condoms).
A thoughtfully sexy meditation on healing, friendship, and romance. (Fiction. 14-18)