Summary: Alex is a normal teenage girl who has been planning a road trip with her two best friends, Bethany and Zack, since they were small children to try and give Alex some closure from her mother's death. Then, Alex meets Cole, the new boy from a nearby town and falls madly in love with his charm. After the short honeymoon phase of their relationship, Cole starts to get a little scary. Alex is abandoning her friends to spend more and more time with him, but she's not sure if she should be or if maybe Cole's new behaviors are somehow her fault. The book follows her struggles throughout the relationship, being torn between her boyfriend and her best friends, and not having a mother-figure to ask for help.
Ms. Kiplinger's Opinion: As a fan of Jennifer Brown's first book Hate List, I was sure that I would also love this one...and I did! This is an important, and sometimes relatable, story for any teenage girl to read. Though not all girls (thank goodness!) will experience a relationship like this, it is likely that they will know someone who does. This was a touching book about real-life experiences, true friendships, and how scary things can sometimes be when you feel alone in the world. There is advice at the end on how to handle yourself in a situation like this or how to help a friend who is in this kind of relationship. Jennifer Brown writes about tough, but necessary, topics that occur in everyday life and her books are a must-read!