Two isolated teens struggle against their complicated lives to find a true connection in this heartwrenching debut novel about first love and the wreckage of growing up.
Lily is returning to her privileged Manhattan high school after a harrowing end to her sophomore year and it's not pretty. She hates chemistry and her spiteful lab partner, her friends are either not speaking to her or suffocating her with concerned glances, and nothing seems to give her joy anymore. Worst of all, she can't escape her own thoughts about what drove her away from everyone in the first place.
Enter Dari (short for Dariomauritius), the artistic and mysterious transfer student, adept at cutting class. Not that he'd rather be at home with his domineering Trinidadian father. Dari is everything that Lily needs: bright, creative, honest, and unpredictable. And in a school where no one really stands out, Dari finds Lily's sensitivity and openness magnetic. Their attraction ignites immediately, and for the first time in what feels like forever, Lily and Dari find happiness in each other.
In twenty-first-century New York City, the fact that Lily is white and Dari is black shouldn't matter that much, but nothing's as simple as it seems. When tragedy becomes reality, can friendship survive even if romance cannot?
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"Starred Review. A powerhouse of storytelling that feels timely and timeless." - Kirkus
"While some of these dramatic twists feel rushed, Corthron marks herself as a writer unafraid of taking up difficult topics relevant to teens' lives." - Publishers Weekly
"While the plot at times verges on melodrama, its focus on racial injustice becomes the most powerful of the novel's subplots. Hand to fans of Kekla Magoon's How It Went Down (2014) or Stephen Emond's Bright Lights, Dark Nights (2015) Grades 9 and up." - Booklist
"True to the characters' lives, sexual situations and graphic language appear throughout the narrative ... Recommended for fans of Rainbow Rowell's works." - School Library Journal
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Kara Lee Corthron is an award-winning New York City based playwright. A Julliard alumna, she is an instructor at Primary Stages' Einhorn School of Performing Arts and has taught at the MFA and BFA playwriting programs at Ohio University, NYU-Tisch, Rutgers, and Spalding University.
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