Synopses & Reviews
A teens world comes crashing down in this compulsively readable YA debut thats as literary as it is commercial.
Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving—and without a single memory of the accident that landed her there. But what she can recall, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the crash.
As Gabby describes her transformation from Invisible Girl to Trendy Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why has Gabby been left to take the fall?
As she peels back the layers of her life, Gabby begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex...and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.
"At the beginning of this strong YA debut from picture-book author Stampler (The Rooster Prince of Breslov), high school senior Gabby wakes up in the hospital with a spotty memory and a battered body. Memories of her recent transformation from a 'sub-regular girl with nothing going for her' to an it-girl, becoming the girlfriend of ultrapopular student Billy Nash, are crystal clear, but the details of the car accident that landed her in the hospital have been lost. Gabby apparently crashed Billy's car while drunk, and Billy must pretend to sever their relationship to avoid violating his probation. It's evident that there is more to the story, but Gabby refuses to see any red flags. Stampler's story of a girl's obsession with a guy at the expense of all else is powerful, and Gabby's alcohol problem, her devotion to Billy, and her overall denial are entirely believable. Gabby's sardonic voice will draw readers into the story immediately, as Stampler delivers a searing portrayal of power, privilege, and betrayal in the hills above Los Angeles. Ages 14 up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Mar.) Ã¢Â–" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of Afterparty and Where it Began, both for teens, as well as several picture books, including The Rooster Prince of Breslov. Her books have been an Aesop Accolade winner, Sydney Taylor Honor and Notable Books, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist and winner, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year. Ann lives with her husband, Rick, in Los Angeles, California.