Maggie has just returned home from a long stay in the hospital to repair the leg that was badly injured in an automobile accident; Caleb has just returned from prison, where he served nine months for driving the car that hit Maggie. In spite of a court order to stay away from her, Caleb continues to encounter Maggie and even ends up working for Mrs. Reynolds, the same elderly lady who Maggie helps. Telling the story in alternate chapters, Elkeles reveals the traumatic accident and its consequences from both victims' points of view. Maggie can no longer play tennis and is now convinced that she is ugly; Caleb must endure the harassment of his former friends, especially the beautiful, seductive Kendra. Not everything in the crowded plot is adequately addressed, but Elkeles creates raw emotions, dialogue, and high-school ambience that's just right. Maggie and Caleb are complex and authentic teens whom all readers will embrace. Theirs is a delicate, delicious love story--without the happy ending. Frances Bradburn
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Simone Elkeles is the author of Leaving Paradise and four other Flux novels, including How to Ruin Your Summer Vacation and How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Repuation. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Rules of Attraction (Walker). A popular speaker at libraries around the country, when the author is not writing she TiVos reality television and watches teen movies. She lives near Chicago with her family and two dogs.
"Elkeles writes convincingly about family tensions, retreating from painful reality, and teens outgrowing their old skins." --School Library Journal