Grieving her adoptive mother’s death, Brenna begins learning more about her biological family, including her birth mother, Kia—whose pregnancy was detailed in Dancing Naked (2002).
Anticipating that her death might spark Brenna’s interest in her biological family, her adoptive mother left Kia’s journal, detailing her agony about giving Brenna up, as a 16th birthday gift for Brenna. Kia had sent birthday and holiday cards as well, but they stopped a few years ago. Frustrated and feeling rejected, Brenna has little interest in learning more about her biological family beyond the fact that they, like her adoptive parents, were a blend of both Asian and white heritages. This changes when Brenna receives a Facebook message from Kia’s sister, Angie. Angie supports Brenna while her adoptive family members struggle with their own grief. But not everything is happily-ever-after: Angie eventually reveals that Kia still struggles with depression and may not be ready for a relationship with Brenna. Meanwhile, handsome Ryan, a charismatic white Aussie, convinces Brenna to complete mountain hikes with him, leading to healing and romance. Their physical relationship may be surprising considering Brenna’s new knowledge of her own conception. But it also underscores the realistic truth that sexual desire can trump even cautionary personal experiences.
Explores the realistic truth that not all relationships can be mended while also offering healing and hope. (Fiction. 14-18)