Soccer star Nanette is an only child raised in a privileged environment. Colleges are competing for her to join their team with the lure of a full academic scholarship, yet Nanette is unhappy. Nanette does not enjoy playing soccer and pretty much does not enjoy anything. She is floundering. She is given a book published years ago and long out-of-print and identifies with the non-conformist main character. Nanette strikes up a friendship with the now elderly author who lives an isolated life. The author becomes something of a grandfather figure to Nanette who hangs on his every word. The author plays matchmaker by introducing Nanette to a young man also mesmerized by the book.
Nanette’s new boyfriend is troubled from many years of being bullied. He makes poor choices from good intentions and Nanette struggles with being there for his issues when she is dealing with her own. All the while, they turn to the idolized author for advice. The author insists the book is just a book.
Once again, Matthew Quick has captured teen angst in identifiable voices. This makes for an engaging read, but this does not mean I liked the main character. Nanette is self-absorbed and full of self-pity. She goes through the same self-doubt that 99% of teens deal with but most teens have significantly worse situations. Her parents have issues – minor issues, but whose don’t? There was entirely too much description of sexual situations as if this behavior is the norm in middle school. Because of this, the book is recommended for older teens.
eGalley review Publication date 5.31.16