Synopses & Reviews
"Readers will sense something swelling and bubbling just beneath the surface of this psychologically complex first novel. California teen Samantha Pallas stands on shaky ground, surrounded by unstable characters. Her divorced parents are emotionally distant ('My mother had easily given me up to my father.... My father easily gave me up each time he asked me to lie for him,' Samantha thinks) and her best friend, Chloe, expresses her pain by cutting herself. Then there's Owen, the star of Samantha's cross-country team, whose sudden death sparks rumors of suicide. After a summer of one-night flings, Samantha falls hard and fast for a new Iranian student named Farouk. They share several intimate chats and Samantha feels sure that Farouk loves her too. But after their relationship turns physical, she learns that he is as untrustworthy as her two-timing father. Readers will anticipate an explosion when Samantha realizes she's been used by Farouk. Instead, the end of the romance creates yet another quiet ripple of uncertainty and unhappiness for Samantha, confirming her notion that all men are liars. Besides conveying a negative image of men, the book's conclusion is frustratingly ambiguous. The mystery of Owen's death goes unsolved; Chloe never comes to terms with her self-mutilation; and Samantha's parents stay remote, unwilling to offer her support. It remains unclear whether Samantha has, in the end, lost faith in the opposite sex or whether she will find the courage to seek a more stable love relationship. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Samantha only wants to be loved. By her father, by her best friend, and now by the new boy at school, Farouk. The more time Sam spends with him, the more she can' t stop thinking about him. But she' s cautious, because people can hurt. To escape, Sam runs track at school, finishing every race, but never pushing herself to the limit. As she runs, she is haunted by the recent, mysterious death of Owen, the school' s golden boy and track star.
Sam and Farouk spend afternoons at the beach where divers risk their lives to jump off high cliffs into the churning water below. Like the divers, Sam risks herself to be with Farouk, growing more and more attached to him, longing to feel safe enough to let herself go and show her true feelings.
Samantha only wants to be loved by her father, by her best friend, and now by the new boy at school, Farouk. But she's cautious, because people can hurt. However, Sam risks herself to be with Farouk, growing more and more attached to him, longing to feel safe enough to let herself go and show her true feelings.