Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Nicola Yoon comes a novel about first love and secrets from Stonewall Book Award winner Brandy Colbert.
Dove "Birdie" Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she's on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past...whom she knows her parents will never approve of.
When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family's apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded--she's also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she's known to be true is turned upside down.
Stonewall Award winner Colbert (Little & Lion) does not disappoint with this coming-of-age story of a young black woman from Chicago. Dove "Birdie" Randolph, 16, is a model teen, until her mother's sister, who has been in and out of rehab, arrives for a stay. Struggling with a need for autonomy and frustrated with her controlling mother, Birdie samples her first alcoholic beverage and hides the existence of her new boyfriend, sweet ex-juvie inmate Booker, for whom she's fallen fast. Birdie forges a close relationship with her aunt while concealing her behavior from her mom, but when Birdie's decisions catch up to her, revealing a hidden truth about her parents, Birdie's world and newfound agency crumble. Despite occasionally predictable plotting, Colbert creates a unique cast of well-developed characters navigating responsibility, grief, racial profiling, and addiction. Providing a great deal of entertainment as Birdie's inexperience lands her in awkward situations, this thrilling tale of first love explores what it means to be held to an impossible standard and still learn to live an authentic life. Ages 12 up.