KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.
Gr 10 Up-Narrated from alternating viewpoints, this contemporary novel tells the story of 17-year-old Beth, a troubled "skater girl" with a hard past, and Ryan, a high school jock with a seemingly perfect life. It all starts at a Taco Bell in Louisville, Kentucky, when Ryan's friends dare him to get Beth's phone number, and she turns him down. Their lives become intertwined after she is uprooted from her abusive home by her uncle and is forced to move to a small town and transfer to Ryan's school. At first he sees it as an opportunity to win the dare, but she resists his offers of friendship. Nonetheless, the two gradually fall in love and learn to trust each other with their secrets, which is equally difficult for both of them. The characters are well developed. The use of drugs, profanity, and violence make this title edgier than a typical teen romance. The plot often feels drawn out, and Beth's constant attempts to run away throughout the book will likely frustrate readers. However, young romantics should find the story engaging.-Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Hartford Public Library, CT (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.