From National Book Award Finalist Meg Rosoff comes a lyrical, compulsively readable coming-of-age tale that is heady, irresistible, and timeless. Everyone talks about falling in love like it's the most miraculous, life-changing thing in the world. Something happens, they say, and you know . . . I looked into his eyes and I knew. Only, everyone else knew too. Everyone else felt exactly the same way. This is the story of one family during one dreamy summer—the summer when everything changes. In an eccentric, turreted vacation house by the sea, our watchful narrator sees everything, including many things that shouldn’t be seen, while brothers and sisters, parents and theatrical older cousins fill the hot days with wine and tennis and sailing and planning a wedding. Enter two brothers, the sons of a fading film actress—irresistibly charming, languidly sexy Kit and surly, silent Hugo. Suddenly there’s a serpent in this paradise, and the consequences will be devastating. In a propulsive narrative carrying intrigue and a growing sense of unease, Meg Rosoff, best-selling author of the iconic How I Live Now, offers a summer tale of innocence lost that will find its place among the classics of young adult literature.
Through an unnamed, ungendered teen's sharp eye and knowing narration, Printz Medalist Rosoff tells a dryly humorous story of summer and love gone awry. Each summer, a cued-white London family gathers at their beloved seasonal residence: a gabled, periwinkle blue beach house that's long been in the family. The narrator, whose room features an old widow's walk complete with telescope, watches everything, including three younger siblings bat fanatic Alex, horse enthusiast Tamsin, and newly beautiful, self-obsessed 16-year-old Mattie as well as Hope, a younger cousin of their father, and her partner, Malcolm, who live down the beach. This year, there are two surprises: Hope and Malcolm are engaged, and the Godden brothers, gorgeous Kit and sulky Hugo, sons of a once-famous actress, move in with Hope and Malcolm for the season. Kit, a manipulator par excellence, immediately makes a play for Mattie's affections, but also, says the narrator, "slipped between my ribs like a flick-knife." Between Mal and Hope's wedding planning, the Godden brothers' tensions, and Kit's erratic attentions, the summer darkens, leading this effective character study and depiction of childhood's end to a surprising climax. Ages 14 up. \n