In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.
But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.
What could go wrong?
With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.
And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?
Bennett (Alex, Approximately) combines a romance with a survival story in a slow-paced novel featuring multilayered characters but grating subplots. Seventeen-year-old Zorie Everhart is an aspiring astronomer who intends to spend her last few weeks of summer working at her parents wellness clinic and participating in astronomy club. Then her mother persuades her to join a camping trip in Northern California with some of the most popular kids in her school. Much to Zorie s chagrin, her former best friend Lennon, a goth boy with a knack for drawing maps, is also joining the trip. After Zorie and Lennon fall out with the rest of the group, they are forced to face dangerous obstacles together and address their unresolved feelings for each other. Despite some tender moments between both characters, the subplot concerning Zorie s parents crumbling marriage receives undue focus and distracts from the book s central themes of survival and romance. Bennett attempts to draw out a poignant message about embracing the spontaneity of life, but doesn t allow readers to draw their own conclusions ( Planning can t save you from everything. Change is inevitable and uncertainty is a given. ) Nevertheless, Bennett writes with an appealing blend of dry humor and tenderness, while providing the story with a cast of diverse characters. Ages 14 up.