In Bradley’s debut YA novel, an angst-filled, teenage girl navigates the uncertain line between friendship and true love.
Katie finds herself in a crisis of the heart when she discovers she might be in love with her lifelong best friend, Alan. The dialogue-rich story commences during the last year of high school, that pivotal time in adolescence, and describes with clarity the roller coaster of emotions that come along with saying goodbye to the only friends Katie knows. She doesn’t welcome the difficulties in choosing an uncertain future away from everything that is near and dear. She’s a pretty girl in her suburban Houston town—she models in her free time—and her social circle includes the head cheerleader, the star football player and Alan, her best friend, who rivals the others in his good looks and smooth talk. Despite their popular position in school and a picture-perfect home life, Katie is restless. She aspires to pursue modeling and acting in Los Angeles, but she’s forced to stay in Texas for college. Also, her ex-boyfriend, Matt, dumps her without warning, tainting her trust in men. The one man she clearly loves throughout the book is Alan, but as the story progresses, the reader learns right alongside Katie that she loves him more than just a friend. “I asked my heart and mind if I did the right thing by letting go of Alan and denying my burgeoning feelings for him,” she says. Her affections aren’t returned, though, so she mourns as Alan and the woman he loves move away to Florida for college. After continued persistence, including running to Florida to pledge her devotion to Alan, Katie realizes that she needs to learn to move on; she tries to focus her romantic attention elsewhere. It’s unclear if she’ll be able to discover the type of love she’s looking for in a person, but she directs her heart toward Hollywood, where she hopes to find a successful, happy future. “You know that I’m always looking for something bigger and better,” she says.
An adolescent adventure that touches on authentic, relatable issues of love and friendship.