Author(s): Paula Boock
When Louie and Willa first meet, they don't know their lives will soon be changed forever.
Self-assured Louie is gearing up for another successful year in high school, starring in a production of Twelfth Night and running the Comedy Club. Kicked out of her last school and still stinging from a past relationship, Willa wants only to get through her final year at school quietly so she can graduate and become a chef. More than anything, she wants to be left alone.
But each girl unexpectedly finds that plans mean nothing when it comes to love. Louie discovers that everything she was sure of-acceptance, faith, and identity-are not what they had seemed. And Willa finds herself suddenly willing to take another chance.
'New Zealand author Boock traces the developing lesbian romance between two high school seniors in an ultimately uplifting novel. The two are from different social strata: Louie quotes Shakespeare and poetry and comes from a conservative, upper-middle-class background, while newcomer Willa, still suffering from the repercussions of an ill-fated first relationship with another girl, lives above a pub. Told in a third-person narrative that alternates between the two characters' points of view, the book offers a frank appraisal of the girls' initial attraction, passions and the conflicts of dealing with a variety of outsiders--parents, friends, co-workers, etc. When Louie's mother discovers the two girls in bed together in Louie's room, she forbids Louie to see Willa. After a rather prolonged period of suffering and soul-searching, they are able to reunite. Although Boock's intense narrative crosses into melodrama and occasionally plants an important scene offstage, teens who are curious about or struggling with questions of sexual identity will find reassurance in these pages. The characters' interactions with Louie's father and priest, and Willa's conversations with her own mother, convey an empathy and tolerance strong enough to counterbalance the intolerance the lovers face from everyone else. Ages 12-up.' --Publishers Weekly
"[A] steamy, brilliant girl-on-girl romance,"--Kirkus
'Louie Angelo is rarely at a loss for words. Actress, extrovert, comedienne, she is well suited for the legal career she is planning. When she meets strong-minded Willa, her worldview and sense of self are forever altered. Louie must cope with her mother's chilly suspicion, societal disapproval, and religious condemnation. Willa, though secure with her identity, is recovering from a disastrous relationship with another girl whose fundamentalist family accused her of being a corrupting influence. While their problems are not instantly resolved, readers know that these teens have made a commitment to be open about their homosexuality. Both Louie and Willa are nicely articulated, and while the New Zealand locale and language differences may challenge some YAs, the emotions ring true and bridge the culture gap. Sexuality is sensitively yet realistically portrayed. Boock's courageous confrontation of the issues of homosexuality and religion, unique characters, and a talent for truth set this novel apart.' --Jennifer A. Fakolt, Library Journal