Senior year changes everything for two teens in this poignant, funny coming-of-age story that looks at what happens when the image everyone has of us no longer matches who we really are.
Senior year of high school is full of changes.
For Hayley Mills, these changes aren’t exactly welcome. All she wants is for everyone to forget about her very public breakdown and remember her as the overachiever she once was—and who she’s determined to be again. But it’s difficult to be seen as a go-getter when she’s forced into TV Production class with all the slackers like Lewis Holbrook.
For Lewis, though, this is going to be his year. After a summer spent binging 80s movies, he’s ready to upgrade from the role of self-described fat, funny sidekick to leading man of his own life—including getting the girl. The only thing standing in his way is, well, himself.
When the two are partnered up in class, neither is particularly thrilled. But then they start making mini documentaries about their classmates’ hidden talents, and suddenly Hayley is getting attention for something other than her breakdown, and Lewis isn’t just a background character anymore. It seems like they’re both finally getting what they want—except what happens when who you’ve become isn’t who you really are?---from the publisher
288 pages 978-1534482982 Ages 13 and up
Keywords: high school, coming of age, emotions, mental health, mental illness, depression, breakdown, reputation, documentaries, television, friends, friendship, identity, finding yourself, romance, 13 year old, 14 year old, 15 year old
******** Yep, when Hayley had her major breakdown last year she was in her car out in front of her high school in full view of the whole world. Everyone knows. Everyone sees her as that girl who had a breakdown. Tough reputation to change.
Lewis has a crush on a girl - his good friend - and she has no idea. He has plans though. He really is going to ask her out.... he really is. Lewis knows he weighs more than he wants to. Lewis watched a whole lotta 80s movies last year with that girl - the one he is going to ask out. Tough rut to be in.
Lewis is a producer for the high school television studio. On the first day of school he and his best friend are glad to be back where they feel comfortable and know how things go. Well, they did know how things go and then Hayley walks in. Hayley - the girl who had the breakdown is now enrolled in the television class. What the heck?
Two high schoolers- currently looking at each other as though they are alien beings from that other planet out there - are about to experience the amazing things that can happen to you when you make space for someone else to be their real self. They come up with the idea of doing documentaries about the kids in the school who have an alter ego - an unknown identity or ability. Their idea is to show the rest of the kids that what someone shows you isn't always all of who they are and that people aren't just one trick ponies. People have different sides to them. You need to get to know someone to see the whole person.
Warm, hopeful, inspiring, this is a satisfying read about imperfections and misperceptions...in other words we can all show up for this one.
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com