They are all beginning to converge on one of the most important days of their lives. The month: September. The place: high school in the small town of Hankinson. The event: freshmen orientation...
Gregor is the quiet one. He has a close-knit family and an older sister in high school who dispenses advice which may or may not be the best (you know how siblings are). His best friend Dinky, whose nickname suits him, carries the excitement for both of them. And although Gregor isn't enthused, he knows this is the day which will usher in the next four crucial years.
Zoe left beautiful Los Angeles to live with her aunt in Hankinson, New York. Totally out of her realm, Zoe must make the best of it while her famous actress mother goes through yet another stint in rehab. She knows nothing about her aunt, except the sisters don't get along, and she isn't told why. She's not looking forward to going to freshmen orientation, especially since everyone's seen the infamous video of her and her mother....
Jake has mixed feelings as well about becoming a high-schooler, especially after what happened last year. His best friend Ted has moved on from him and is the guy all girls want to date - handsome, athletic, popular. The problem is, Jake let him know how he felt about him and it changed not only their friendship, but his status in school. Now, the game is to avoid his ex-best friend as much as possible during the next four years.
Whitney bounces and glows wherever she is. Beautiful and popular, she makes friends easily, is involved in all kinds of clubs, and dates guys beyond their freshmen year. The thing is, Whitney doesn't condone bad behavior, especially when her friends are being horrendously rude and because of her morals, she begins to be excluded from things. Four years of icy shoulders is a long time, but can her sunny disposition melt the ice?
Mia dresses in black, wears her hair and make-up dark, and doesn't say much. She is the anti-establishment of her parents and their country club tennis looks and isn't going to change. Four years ahead of her is going to be a long journey, but she's ready for it because she has her endgame in mind- to leave this town as fast as possible.
All five of these teens are thrown together during orientation and are tasked with coming up with a "bonding" project to get to know each other more. They don't run in the same circles, so they come up with the only solution they agree on. Write a letter to their future selves and meet up on graduation day to read them.
And the next four years of their lives begin...
And this is where the reader gets to be the fly on the wall as we watch all five teens change and evolve physically, morally and emotionally. There are turns in the roads for all of them in their personal and school lives. Their lives even weave and intersect at times in very interesting ways. What makes this novel so appealing is the reader will be able to see themselves or those they know in any of the characters and which makes this book become personal...the ultimate nod of an excellent YA novel. As I posted on Twitter, this novel is part Breakfast Club, part St. Elmo's fire, part New Year's Eve. LOVED it!!
978-0061731075 Ages 13 and up 480 pages
Recommended by: Naomi Bates, Librarian, Texas USA
See more of her recommendations: http://naomibates.blogspot.com