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STANDING ON NEPTUNE by Valerie Sherrard


by Valerie Sherrard

Pub Date: April 18th, 2023
ISBN: 9781770866874
Publisher: DCB

A possible pregnancy and the details of daily life fill a teenage girl’s mind.

As a new school week begins, 17-year-old Brooke Morgan Wells realizes that her period is five days late. Though fear and a barrage of questions flood her mind, she moves through the week as though everything is outwardly normal, attending classes, celebrating a family birthday, and completing a science project about Neptune. Neptune serves as a personal symbol for her own feelings of isolation and the latent mysteries contained within her body. The crux of this novel in verse is the ceaselessness of Brooke’s inner monologue that integrates her thoughts about her family roles as a child of divorce who navigates life with stepparents and as a caring older sister. She also reflects on her increasingly tenuous relationship with her boyfriend, Ryan, and the existential realities of the potential state of pregnancy. By situating the story in this weeklong moment of suspense, Sherrard focuses affectingly on the intricacy of a teenager’s scattered yet profound internal emotional experience rather than delving into the practical choices and social implications she may soon face. Characters lack physical descriptions and are racially indeterminate.

A tender, intense story capturing the vast scope of a young adult’s interior universe.

(Verse fiction. 13-18)