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SAVING MADDIE by Varian Johnson


by Varian Johnson

Pub Date: March 9th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-73804-0
Publisher: Delacorte

Five years after Maddie, then a blossoming 13-year-old, left, she’s back for the summer in small-town Conway, S.C., all grown up with low-cut dresses to prove it, serving “penance” for the reputation she’s acquired. Fellow preacher’s kid Joshua, good because he’s always been that way (“Being the only son of the Reverend Isaiah P. Wynn, I was expected to never break the rules. Ever”), still sees his best friend underneath the lipstick and tight clothes. He realizes that saving her might be harder than he thinks, though, when he’s forced to disobey his worried, meddling parents, confront his saintly image and finally form his own opinions about premarital sex and sin. And when saving Maddie means saving himself in the process. Johnson avoids heavy-handed messages with nuanced characters and a realistic treatment of Joshua and Maddie’s complex relationship. Despite—or because of—his changes, Joshua remains a nice guy and proves that they can finish last, first or whenever or however they want. Unfortunately, the cover condemns this book to Girls Only. (Fiction. YA)