Letters from the past are interspersed into a free-verse chronicle of a crucial day for two teens who meet by chance at a beach town.
Amber heads out to the beach for a day by herself away from the family she loves, and, through a chance encounter with Cade, makes a lifetime connection, as this is also a critical day for him. Cade recognizes Amber as a child who was switched at birth in the hospital. Her birth parents have gone to court to have her live with them for half the year; the child they raised has died. Amber's anxious and angry, and somehow Cade is the balance she needs, due to his own mysterious challenges. Sometimes the poetry just tells the story, and other times it is almost too precious: "Lips on lips, / feel the heat. / Silky soft, / honey sweet."Â Teen jargon (including some cursing) appears just often enough to feel realistic, and it helps to keep the cloying effect of the plot line in check. Unfortunately, as the day goes on, the intensity of this brand-new relationship that's been forged in moments strains credulity. Like the limo ride from home to the beach, the connections over shared music and the secret Cade shares that makes him so vulnerable, it's all a tad overdone.
Melodrama heightened by romance.Â (Fiction. 12-16)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Gr 9 Up--In this novel-in-verse, Amber's life has become the stuff of supermarket tabloids. She's recently learned that her family is only her family due to a mix-up at birth. After the death of the girl who went home with her birth parents, the mix-up was revealed. Now her birth parents have legally won joint custody. Rather than spend her last day before departing for her forced visit in a long, sad goodbye, she steals away to spend a solitary day at the beach. While there, she meets Cade. He, too, is running from reality; in his case, the fear of serving as his Dad's liver donor the next day. The circumstances of Amber and Cade's chance meeting are only slowly revealed, which sustains an air of mystery for both the characters and readers. The day they spend together is sweet, if somewhat saccharine, but will certainly appeal to teens looking for a good, fast-paced whirlwind love story with a happy ending. Schroeder's fans will not be disappointed.--Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ[Page 120]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.