Compelling, relatable, and full of heart… A page-turner.
Fanning weaves a captivating tale of friendship, love, trust, and courage in his heartwarming latest. Struggling to deal with his mother’s depression, seventeen-year-old Nat Reams is doing his best to stay afloat. Hoping to get a basketball scholarship, Nat is concentrating hard on the game. But when he witnesses a teacher assaulting Molly Martinez, a shy, bright girl, Nat does what his instincts tell him to: he hits his teacher. Now with an expulsion in cards, Nat has no option but to lay out his best defense forward. However, Molly wants nothing but to forget the incident. As the two become friends, Nat realizes Molly has her reasons to stay quiet. Juggling high-intensity family and teen drama, Fanning manages to keep the momentum brisk and the tension consistently high throughout. He is excellent when it comes to delving into the mindset of his broken characters, be it teenagers on the cusp of adulthood struggling to find their place in the world or fully-grown adults trying to pick the broken pieces of their shattered lives. Both Nat and Molly are sharply defined characters, resilient and yet vulnerable. Ash and Ana are complete darlings. But it’s Nat’s mother who steals the show. Her brokenness and raw vulnerability make readers sympathize with her, especially toward the end. The fusion of deep worldbuilding with moving and timely themes, such as the plight of migrants and refugees, identity, intolerance, teenage sexual exploitation, trust, integrity, courage, compassion, and acceptance provides both intensity and substance to the engrossing narrative. Fans of finely crafted YA literary will surely enjoy the novel’s human drama, individual struggles, and memorable, deeply sympathetic cast.
By S. A. Fanning
Pub date November 16, 2021
Price $4.99 Kindle edition