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.
In a novel brimming with dark memories, veiled secrets, and steamy moments, first-time author McGarry introduces two teenagers struggling to regain normalcy after their lives have been shattered by separate tragedies. When high school social worker Mrs. Collins asks Echo, a senior, to tutor Noah, she agrees, even though Noah has the reputation of being a "girl-using stoner boy." Though the students initially clash, they discover they have something in common: both are desperate to look at their personal files, housed in Mrs. Collins's office. Noah wants to locate his younger brothers, who were placed in a separate foster home, and Echo needs to know the truth about an incident-wiped from her memory-that left her arms badly scarred and led to a restraining order against her mother. As the teens hatch their plan, they begin to fall in love. This somewhat sensationalized "opposites attract" romance may dwell a little too long on Noah's infatuation with Echo's red hair and large breasts, but its suspenseful plot, dramatic conflicts, and tragic characters will keep readers engrossed. Ages 14-up. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 8 Up-High school seniors Echo and Noah have regular therapy sessions with the school's clinical social worker. Both struggle to understand past traumatic experiences that have left them scarred, and both need help to move forward. As part of the therapy, Echo is enlisted as Noah's tutor. Their initial resistance to this arrangement eventually blossoms into a romantic relationship, defying the school's social stratifications. Echo is grappling with numerous tragedies, including the death of her brother, her mother's bipolar disorder, the remarriage of her father to her childhood nanny, and an accident that has disfigured her body and left her unable to remember the traumatic event. Noah feels responsible for the house fire that killed both of his parents and forced him and his younger brothers into foster care. His deteriorating academic performance, habitual marijuana use, and reputation for sleeping around have cemented his reputation as the school's bad boy. Plot pacing keeps the story moving along to a satisfying, if predictable, conclusion. Some readers may be concerned about Noah making statements that imply that he owns Echo, such as when he declares that he "claimed" her and "I did just mark my territory." Filled with amorous descriptive passages such as "I gazed into her beautiful green eyes and her fear melted" and "enjoying the teasing taste of her tongue," this poignant narrative, which is told in the two protagonists' alternating voices, will find a following among those who enjoy contemporary teen romances.-Babara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.