Together is somewhere they long to be.
Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted-- he's admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There's only one obstacle in Ash's path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?
All Eden's ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college -- and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . .When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream -- one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?
Eden's mother abandoned the family when Eden was a child, her father is abusive and controlling, and the family is extremely poor. Day (a pseudonym for author Elizabeth Langston) gives Eden a killer intellect she's on track to become class valedictorian and a brusque attitude she uses to keep the world at bay. But Eden's longtime academic rival, Ash, and a new girl at school, Mundy, gradually chip away at Eden's exterior until she lets them in. Even as Ash and Eden finally share their mutual romantic feelings, they keep their relationship secret. Ash is worried about his strict Indian parents, who don't want him dating "white trash," and Eden's reasoning seems to stem from their longtime academic rivalry, until she eventually reveals it's because of her father's racism. Day's story loses focus as the plot zigzags among the various dramas running through Eden's relationships as she fights for a happy ending. This aside, Eden will lure readers with her willful refusal to allow poverty and hardship to define or limit her. Ages 12 up.