Winner of the 2014 Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize
It's 1993, and the Teen Spirit Generation pulses to the hum of the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is plucked from her blue-collar Chicago neighborhood to a small town on the Irish Sea. Surviving off care-packages of Spin magazine and Twizzlers from her rocker uncle Kevin, she wonders if she'll ever find her place in this new world. When tragedy and first love simultaneously strike, Maggie embarks upon a forbidden quest to fulfill a dying wish. Her pilgrimage takes her from the coastal town of Bray to a dodgy youth hostel in Dublin and finally to a life-altering Nirvana concert in Rome. Maggie finds adventure, amazing music, and a mess of trouble, but also a previously untapped strength in herself to really live. Unlike other YA novels, this story is beautifully character-driven and devoid of far-fetched coincidence. It avoids the tropes of being set in nameless suburbia or told in a sardonic first-person voice. The time period will appeal to the counterculture teens of today who have posters of Kurt Cobain plastered on their walls as well as the older set of readers who grew up with Maggie. Additional bonus features and suggested reading lists create an entire experience for any age.