Synopses & Reviews
Alice and Jewel have been best friends since grade school. Together, they don't need anyone else, and together they blend into the background of high school. Invisible. To Alice, Jewel is the opposite of invisible. Jewel is her best friend who goes to Indie concerts and art shows with her. Jewel scoffs at school dances with her. Alice is so comfortable around Jewel that she can talk to him about almost anything. But she can’t tell him that she likes the cool, popular Simon. And then Simon asks her to the school dance the same day that Jewel kisses her for the first time. Still, she can't say no to Simon. He seems like the easy choice, the one she's attracted to, the one she's ready for. But will it mean losing Jewel?
In a bright debut novel set against the lively backdrop of Seattle, Alice must learn the difference between love and a crush, and what it means to be yourself when you're not sure who that is yet.
"Former children's bookseller Gallagher offers a diverting view of familiar terrain in her first novel. The artistic but in-the-shadows protagonist, 16-year-old Alice, and her more talented pal, a boy named Jewel, are joined at the hip and have been since they were three. So, when Jewel breaks the rules of friendship and kisses her, she doesn't know what to think especially because the hunky football player, Simon Murphy, surprisingly locked lips with her, too, just the day before. Now her heart is frantically pounding out 'two-guys-at-once-two-kisses-you-have-to-choose,' and, she says, 'I don't know if my heart can survive that kind of beating.' Yes, this story has been told before. But Gallagher infuses the usual fluff with personality, in part via the offbeat Seattle setting. Alice and Jewel are regulars at the Green Bean organic coffee shop, friends with the video store clerk ('Greetings, darlings,' he says as they return a Japanimation DVD) and connoisseurs of the indie music scene. Although Jewel conforms to the 'Mr. Outsider Artist' label that Alice tags him with, Simon isn't the stock football player (he volunteers at the aquarium and has actual feelings); members of the artsy and popular crowds overlook stereotypes long enough to commingle willingly by the end. The author's voice is strong she bears watching. Ages 14-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"With its striking setting and diverse cast of well-developed characters, Gallagher's debut like Alice shines." VOYA
"[Gallagher] deftly uses the Seattle setting to best advantage, giving the book a real sense of place. Written with a snappy brevity, the story will also work well for reluctant readers, who will find it a manageable length." Booklist
"Gallagher never misses with dialog, interior monologues, and subtle shifts in relationships. She has no good guys and bad guys, just struggling teenagers trying to discover who they are." KLIATT
About the Author
Liz Gallagher is a former children's bookseller and early education teacher. She received her MFA in writing for children from Vermont College. This is her first novel. She lives in Seattle, Washington.