You Go First
Charlotte and Ben are both outsider kids without a lot of friends or social outlets. Charlotte's father has just had a heart attack and is in the hospital. Ben's parents have told him they are getting divorced and dad is moving out. Both are lonely and ostracized at school. They meet and connect online through a scrabble game.
During this terrible week of their lives while Charlotte is dealing with her dad being sick and Ben has decided to run for student council even though he is bullied at school, they connect in person over the phone. Their conversations are not honest however. They both project images of what they think is ideal. Both are covering for the fact that they are unhappy and lonely.
There were parts of this story that I thought were so very realistic. Charlotte not wanting to deal with her dad's illness. Ben hiding the fact that he is being bullied. Ben hiding from his parents divorce. Charlotte's best friend moving on. There were other parts that I thought were a bit too perfect ending. Both Charlotte and Ben end up making new friends and settling into life. While I would hate a book that left you hanging with lonely, friendless kids, that is a reality for a lot of children out there and I think they deserve to see themselves in books.