A poetic, gifty offering that combines first love, friendship, and persistant courage in this lyrical immigration story told in verse. Award-winning authors Brian Conaghan and Sarah Crossan tell a thought-provoking dual-narrated tale about two troubled teens, one immigrating to a new home and the other facing domestic violence, whose paths cross in the unlikeliest of places.
Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess's home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship slowly blossoms into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and their hope and dreams of a better future. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?
This illuminating story told in dual points of view through vibrant verse will stay with readers long after they've finished.
Winner of the 2018 UKLA Book Award
Acclaim for Brian Conaghan
Shortlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Award, When Mr. Dog Bites
Shortlisted for the CBI Book of the Year Award, When Mr. Dog Bites
Acclaim for Sarah Crossan
Winner of the 2016 Carnegie Award, One
Winner of the 2016 Bookseller's prize for YA fiction, One
Winner of the 2016 CBI Book of the Year, One
Shortlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Award, Apple and Rain
Shortlisted for the 2013 Carnegie Award, The Weight of Water
In a verse novel told through alternating points of view, Crossan (One) and Conaghan (The Bombs That Brought Us Together) introduce teenagers Jess and Nicu, who meet during mandated community service after shoplifting. Jess is standoffish, secretly struggling with her mother's abuse at the hands of Jess's stepfather. Nicu, a recent emigrant from Romania, has traveled to London with his parents to collect and sell scrap metal, saving to pay for his impending arranged marriage. Seeking connection in an unfamiliar and unfriendly landscape, Nicu is drawn to Jess, and as their tentative friendship deepens, they develop a bond built on a common heartache and hope for escape. Jess's perspective is shared through uncomplicated declarative poems that don't mince words or shy from her violent home life. In contrast, Nicu's poems, while thoughtful, are stilted, intended to reflect his unfamiliarity with English, "the tough watermelon to crack,/ a strange language with many weird wordings." Unfortunately, it's a gamble that doesn't pay off, effectively reducing his character to caricature and undermining the novel's empathetic intentions. Ages 14 up. Author's \n