BookPage Teen Top Pick, October 2017
It’s a regular summer’s day for Adam Thorn. It begins with picking up gardening supplies for his mother (even though his brother, Marty, ran over her chrysanthemums). Later, he’s off to run with his cross-country team, and then he clocks in at what he calls the Evil International Mega-Conglomerate warehouse. After that it’s a brief stop to see his best friend, Angela, followed by his boyfriend, Linus. That evening, Adam helps at his preacher father’s evangelical church and ends the night at a going-away party for Enzo, an ex for whom Adam still yearns.
Adam’s day alternates between the mundane and the extraordinary: Angela and Marty both have revelations to share; Linus needs more from Adam than his heart is ready to give; and Adam’s tenuous truce with his father may be coming to an end. But as Adam’s day progresses, so does someone else’s: that of a mysterious presence who might be the ghost of a murdered girl—or perhaps the embodiment of an ancient water queen. Adam’s story and that of the drowned spirit run parallel for a time, but when they overlap, both could find some kind of release.
Drawing inspiration from Judy Blume’s Forever . . . and Virginia Woolf’s classic circadian novel Mrs. Dalloway, this new novel from Carnegie Medal winning-author Patrick Ness features diverse characters, unique religious perspectives (Adam’s father’s strict rules don’t hold a monopoly on spirituality) and just enough honest talk about sex to make it a good choice for older teen readers.