A Seventeen Best Book of the Year
A New York Public Library Top Ten Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
"A daring, inventive story about love and loss and longing, reminding us that every choice can be a new chance. A dazzling, not-to-be-missed debut." --Kathleen Glasgow, author of Girl in Pieces
In one impulsive moment the summer before they leave for college, overachievers Scarlett and David plunge into a brief and irresistible swirl of romance, particle physics, and questionable decisions.
Scarlett and David have known each other all their lives in small-town Graceville, Colorado, where David is just another mountain in the background, until, one day, he is suddenly so much more than part of the landscape. Magnetic, spontaneous, David is a gravitational force. And Scarlett, pragmatic, wry, eye on the future, welcomes the pull he has on her even as she resists it.
Moving between the present and the past, this is the story of a seemingly grounded girl who's pulled into a lightning-strike romance with an electric-charged boy, and the enormity of the aftermath. Smart, bold, and emotionally deep, Shana Youngdahl's debut explores grief, guilt, and reconciling who you think you need to be with the person you've been all along. It's an aching, transporting reminder that between the past that shapes us and the unknowable future, we have only the present to forgive ourselves and forge ahead.
"A story you won't forget." --Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door
"Mystery...Heartbreak...Hope...Readers will not be able to put this one down."--SLJ
"You'll speed read through [it]" --PopSugar
"John Green-like, intelligent and peppered with witty repartee" --Booklist
"Heartbreaking, exquisitely crafted" --Estelle Laure, author of This Raging Light
"Deeply authentic...Marvelously complex...Readers shouldn't miss [it]" --Kirkus, starred review
"A complex, compassionately written love story" --PW
"A definite purchase and must read."--VOYA
"Perfect." --Book Page
Embracing Einstein's theories of time, debut author Youngdahl offers a complex, compassionately written love story about a freshman college student whose past is very much a part of her present. When the novel opens, native Coloradan Scarlett's "now" involves a cross-country road trip with college roommate Mina from their school in Maine to California. But Scarlett's focus keeps looping backward to other "nows," which focus on her ex-lover David, whose magnetism and increased dependence on drugs drew her to dangerous places the summer after high school graduation. Since then, her obsession with David and their shared passion has affected almost every aspect of her life, causing her to become a distraught, isolated physics student, until level-headed Mina brings Scarlett out of her shell and helps her make perhaps the most important decision of her life. Told nonchronologically and in the first person, Scarlett's story includes many familiar yet relevant topics, including sexism, drug use, college stress, and ill-fated infatuations. If the book seems overloaded with issues, Scarlett remains a solid, convincing character although Mina, perhaps the true hero of the story, is disappointingly underdeveloped. Yougdahl's keen understanding of teen emotions and reactions adds credibility to her story, though, as does her interesting experimentation with structure. Ages 14 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is one of the graters book I have ever read. I don't like many books but this is one of my favorites. The ending is the most spectacular ending I've ever read. I felt it. Thank you Shana Youngdahl for this great story.