“An absolute charmer of a book…Delightful!” —Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Starry Eyes
Sparks fly when two ex-best-friends team up to save a family business in this romantic and witty debut perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Sarah Dessen.
Caroline “Chuck” Wilson has big plans for spring break—hit up estate sales to score vintage fashion finds and tour the fashion school she dreams of attending. But her dad wrecks those plans when he asks her to spend vacation working the counter at Bigmouth’s Bowl, her family’s failing bowling alley. Making things astronomically worse, Chuck finds out her dad is way behind on back rent—meaning they might be losing Bigmouth’s, the only thing keeping Chuck’s family in San Francisco.
And the one person other than Chuck who wants to do anything about it? Beckett Porter, her annoyingly attractive ex-best friend.
So when Beckett propositions Chuck with a plan to make serious cash infiltrating the Bay Area action bowling scene, she accepts. But she can’t shake the nagging feeling that she’s acting irrational—too much like her mother for comfort. Plus, despite her best efforts to keep things strictly business, Beckett’s charm is winning her back over…in ways that go beyond friendship.
If Chuck fails, Bigmouth’s Bowl and their San Francisco legacy are gone forever. But if she succeeds, she might just get everything she ever wanted.
High school juniors Caroline "Chuck" Wilson and Beckett Porter were best friends until the year before, when he betrayed her by letting out a secret told in confidence. Chuck hasn't spoken to him since, and now she's dealing with another family problem: her father's business, Bigmouth's, a bowling alley, is about to go under. Beckett, hired by the alley's food supplier to make deliveries, overhears the devastating news, and he has a scheme to raise much-needed funds: teach Chuck, a superior bowler, how to hustle at underground games. Despite her misgivings and her grudge, Chuck reluctantly agrees. After her first few successful hustles, she's ecstatic about her winnings but secretly fears that her impulsive behaviors are a sign she's inherited the bipolar disorder that afflicted her late mother before she died by suicide years before. At the same time, the crush Chuck once had on Beckett is returning, stronger than ever. Though the progress of Chuck's illegal activities and her relationship with Beckett are fairly predictable, both protagonists emerge as flawed, sympathetic characters. Capturing the vibe of bowling alley action and the business of betting, first-time author Coombs, herself diagnosed with bipolar disorder, sensitively portrays mental health concerns, including roller-coaster highs and lows. Ages 14 up. \n