For me, this book was all about being in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time. Blake, a 16 year old high school freshman, has everything a teenage boy could want. He has awesome parents, a great girlfriend, cool friends and a great girl friend. Blake loves Shannon, but he also cares about Marissa as a friend. Shannon has the perfect home life. Marissa has an awful home life. Marissa, more than anything else, needs a friend who can understand her. Blake finds himself worrying more about Marissa than his own girlfriend. Thus, he has a girlfriend he thinks he loves and needs and a friend who needs him. At the risk of losing his perfect teenage life, he pretty much makes it his mission to get Marissa out of a lot of sticky situations, mainly situations with her meth addicted mother. Although I thought this was a typical YA book, it was pretty interesting how Blake matures as a person through his relationship with Shannon and Marissa and how he struggles to understand what love is and what he feels is the right thing to do.
2011-12 Gateway Readers Award Nominee and Winner of the William C. Morris Debut Novel Award