Beloved author Rita Williams-Garcia intertwines the lives of three very different teens in this fast-paced, gritty narrative about choices and the impact that even the most seemingly insignificant ones can have. A National Book Award finalist.
One day. One huge New York City high school. Three girls, headed toward one slow-motion collision.
There’s Trina, a pretty, self-involved artist who’s sure she’s bringing beauty and color to the lives of everyone around her, regardless of what they really think. There’s Leticia, who skates by on minimal effort; she’s more interested in her cell phone, her nails, and gossip than school. And there’s Dominique, an angry basketball player who’s been benched for low grades.
When Trina unknowingly offends Dominique, Dominique decides that it’s going down—after school, she’s going to jump Trina. Trina has no idea. And Leticia is the only witness to Dominique’s rage, the only one who could stop the beatdown from coming. But does she want to get involved in this mess?
Alternating among the perspectives of three girls at an urban high school, Williams-Garcia (Like Sisters on the Homefront) shows once again her uncanny ability to project unique voices. Benched by the basketball coach for her low grades, Dominique is trying to bite back her rage when "some stupid little flit comes skipping down B corridor like the Easter Bunny.... Skipping. In all that pink" and walks between Dominique and her "girls," "like she don't see I'm here and all the space around me is mines." That's it Dominique vows to "kick her ass" at exactly 2:45. Her intended victim, Trina already full of herself over her looks, and pumped up because she's about to hang her latest masterpiece of art in a hallway) does not hear, but Leticia does, and she can't wait to tell her best friend ("That would be something to see.... Trina getting stomped on school grounds"). And when Leticia's friend argues that Leticia ought to warn Trina, the plot quickens rather than taking a simple path around should-she/shouldn't-she. So well observed that the characters seem to leap off the page, the novel leaves a strong and lingering impact. Ages 12 up.