Coping with more than she can handle, a young woman reacts with anger only to realize there are some problems a fight can't fix.
Savannah cares only about her little brother, Evan, who has an unnamed developmental disorder. Their mother left because she couldn't handle Evan, and their father blames Evan for it. Savvy, fiercely protective of Evan, fights the battles he can't—which includes stabbing her ex with a pencil for mocking Evan. As the novel opens, the white teenager is just trying to graduate from her alternative high school and take care of Evan as long as she can, even though her aunt is pressing to take Evan. A new student, Cameron, rich, sexy, and white, is making Savannah feel torn between caring for Evan and living her own life. But with how awful her life is, taking care of Evan is the only thing that feels good. While Savannah's challenges are well-presented, Cameron feels unformed, less realized than other secondary characters, and Savannah's ex is a cardboard-cutout villain. Savannah reacts realistically to the threat of losing Evan by lashing out and holding on to him even tighter; it's behavior that's understandable even as readers know it won't end well. The plot moves predictably toward its conclusion, and the writing fits the characters, creating a well-rounded character study.
A satisfying look at one teen struggling with hard choices. (Fiction. 14-18)