A funny, bracing, poignant YA romance and coming-of-age for fans of Huntley Fitzpatrick, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and The Beginning of Everything
lake effect | n.
1. The effect of any lake, especially the Great Lakes, in modifying the weather in nearby areas
2. The effect of elderly ladies, mysterious girls, and countless funerals, in upending your life, one summer at the beach
It’s the summer after senior year, and Briggs Henry is out the door. He's leaving behind his ex-girlfriend and his parents’ money troubles for Lake Michigan and its miles of sandy beaches, working a summer job as a personal assistant, and living in a gorgeous Victorian on the shore. It's the kind of house Briggs plans to buy his parents one day when he’s a multi-millionaire. But then he gets there. And his eighty-four-year-old boss tells him to put on a suit for her funeral.
So begins a summer of social gaffes, stomach cramps, fraught beach volleyball games, moonlit epiphanies, and a drawer full of funeral programs. Add to this Abigail, the mystifying girl next door on whom Briggs's charms just won’t work, and “the lake effect” is taking on a whole new meaning.
Smart, funny, and honest, The Lake Effect is about realizing that playing along is playing it safe, and that you can only become who you truly are if you’re willing to take the risk.
"Vibrant and smart . . . Perfect to tote around on vacation." —Bustle
“Every word glows with brilliance." —Francisco X. Stork, author of Marcelo in the Real World
"Dazzlingly hilarious . . . Erin McCahan is the reigning queen of summer YA reads." —PopSugar
“Observant, sarcastic, compelling, and very funny.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Summer romance at its best." —HelloGiggles
“The perfect smart, beachside read. . . . Unforgettable.” —Stephanie Elliot, author of Sad Perfect
"Elegant and touching." —Publishers Weekly
“Refreshingly honest and real. . . . An absolute must-read.” —Elise Allen, co-author of Elixir
“Funny and poignant." —PureWow
"Thought provoking—and at times hilarious . . . A great summer read." —SLJ
Eighteen-year-old Briggs Henry spends the summer after his high school graduation in South Haven, Mich., as live-in help for a strong-willed 84-year-old Serbian widow, Mrs. Bozic, in this elegant and touching coming-of-age story. Briggs is well aware of his family's high expectations for him ("We achieved. We catalogued our successes, and we never needed our hair cut") and has big plans for his own future: namely becoming a successful lawyer who never has to worry about money. His summer with Mrs. B which includes funeral crashing, encounters with a secretive neighbor named Abigail, and revelations about his family prompts Briggs to reexamine his goals and his definition of happiness. As chronicled by McCahan (Love and Other Foreign Words), Briggs's growth is realistically sobering, and many readers will identify with his increasing awareness of his own markers of success. Briggs's genuine relationship with Mrs. B and her words of wisdom from a life well lived are heartwarming, illustrating the ways that family can expand beyond blood. Ages 12 up.