Ramona fell for Sam the moment she met him. It was like she had known him forever. He’s one of the few constants in her life, and their friendship is just too important to risk for a kiss. Though she really wants to kiss him…
Sam loves Ramona, but he would never expect her to feel the same way—she’s too quirky and cool for someone like him. Still, they complement each other perfectly, both as best friends and as a band.
Then they meet Tom. Tom makes music too, and he’s the band’s missing piece. The three quickly become inseparable. Except Ramona’s falling in love with Tom. But she hasn’t fallen out of love with Sam either. How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?
“Educators and librarians looking for fast-moving, interesting plots, in-depth characters, and meaningful themes need to add this one to their shelves.”—VOYA praise for If He Had Been with Me
In an insightful story centered on a quirky trio of teenagers, high school senior Ramona, a committed iconoclast, plays drums in a band with her best friend and crush, Sam. He feels similarly about her, but neither of them wants to risk their friendship on romance. Ramona and Sam are both auditioning for a local arts college when they meet Tom. He has just been dumped by his girlfriend and wants to keep his head down until graduation, even while he's pursuing a clandestine "public service art project" that involves "glitter bombing" various places around town. The three share perfect musical chemistry, forming "the most kick-ass, avant-garde, in-your-face experimental noise rock band on the planet," but their complex, interconnected romantic feelings threaten to interfere. Nowlin (If He Had Been with Me) captures the antsy energy of senior year and the desire to stand out while still fitting in as she alternates among the three observant narrators. Despite some obvious foreshadowing, the story offers distinctive characters who show maturity as they seek to create satisfying creative and romantic relationships. Ages 14 up.