From the New York Times bestselling author of A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, this deeply heartfelt love story explores hiding the worst parts of ourselves, and finding the people who love us anyway.
“How could I open that door and let him see the messiest part of me?”
From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary.
But then Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide behind her carefully constructed ink-and-paper wall.
Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.
“A lovely tale for bookish readers that will give them all the feels.” —Kirkus
For years, 17-year-old Darcy, who seems to be white, has hidden her single mother's shopping and hoarding addictions from everyone except her Cuban/Mexican best friend, Marisol, and Marisol's brother, who does repairs in their chaotic San Diego apartment. Bent on keeping others out, Darcy has turned inward, burying herself in books, but the new apartment manager's plans for interior renovations forces her back to reality. Worried that she and her mother will have to move if the manager sees the state of their unit, Darcy must face the harsh truths about her mother's disorder, even as she experiences her first romantic feelings for a boy she meets at her local bookstore job. Bighearted Asher is open about the physical and emotional challenges he faces after a car accident, and Darcy seeks the courage to be as honest about her life. In this complex romance, debut author Namey paints a painfully realistic portrait of a teen playing an adult role in a dysfunctional family. Darcy's emergence from her protective shell of fictional characters and worlds creates an emotional journey. Featuring a strong supporting cast including Darcy's boss, the owner of a wig shop this compassionate, insightful novel will be relevant to anyone who has felt burdened by a secret. Ages 13 up.
Highly recommend! If you enjoy this book I also suggest checking out her other book “A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow” (which in my opinion is somehow an even better read).