Synopses & Reviews
Over the course of a single summer day, ten teenagers in Salem, Massachusetts, will discover important truths about themselves and each other.
There is Nicole, whose decision to betray her best friend will shock everyone, most of all herself; Kelly, who meets the convicted felon she has been writing to for years; Maria, whose definition of a true friend is someone who will cut her. Then there is Sadie, a chubby eleven-year-old whose mother forces her to wear a "please don't feed me" sign stapled to her shirt; while Joy, a fifteen-year-old waitress hoping for true intimacy narrowly escapes a very dark fate. Derik discovers that his usual good looks and charm won't help him hold onto the girl he wants, while nineteen-year-old drifter, Mearl, is desperately looking for a place to call home. Sean is torn between his loyalty to his girlfriend and the possibility of finding something more with her friend, while Ginger's single-minded pursuit to bring down her nemesis only proves that they may be more alike than she thought.
Seamlessly woven together, this incredibly powerful and compelling collection of stories chronicles the very real trials of today's teen experience.
"Echoing motifs found in Perkins's Criss Cross and Konigsburg's A View from Saturday, this slice-of-life novel (dedicated to 'all who bleed') shows connections between teens who are struggling with personal conflicts. August 12 (the date when the story takes place) proves to be an eventful day for all 10 characters profiled here. High-school student Nicole loses her virginity to the boyfriend of her best friend, Kelly. Meanwhile, Kelly, who is in California visiting her father, prepares to go to a diner where she will meet Robby, the ex-convict with whom she has been exchanging letters for five and a half years. When the date turns out badly, Robby comes dangerously close to committing a second crime when a waitress from the diner crosses his path at the wrong time. The story continues, revealing a new case of neurotic, dangerous or compulsive behavior in nearly every chapter as Stolarz (Blue Is for Nightmares) introduces each subsequent character. Following a circular trail of betrayals and acts of revenge, readers who yearn for some positive developments will have to wait until the last few chapters, when a few sporadic signs of love and friendship do spring forth. Although the book ends on a somewhat positive note, the message, which remains rather murky, is greatly overshadowed by characters' foibles and obsessions. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Seamlessly woven together, this collection of interconnected short stories paints an authentic portrait of today's teen experience that is at once funny, moving, and haunting.