One Small Thing

384p. Harlequin Teen. Jun. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781335017277.
Gr 9 Up—In failing to deal with the grief of losing their older daughter, Beth's parents have instituted draconian efforts to protect her from harm. In an act of defiance before her senior year begins, Beth sneaks out to a party on the other side of town and has sex for the first time with Chase, whom she meets that night. She is horrified to see him on the first day of school and is surprised to find everyone else knows who he is: the driver of the stolen car that hit and killed her sister. Having every reason to hate him, Beth finds herself attracted to Chase. Other students have started a petition to have Chase removed from the school and he is being constantly bullied. Despite everything, Beth and Chase seemed determined to find a way to be together, even if it means staying apart. While rushed, surprise twists at the end will leave romance fans shocked, saddened, angered, and happy all at the same time. While the Romeo and Juliet story line is appealing, setting descriptors are disparaging to individuals' socioeconomic statuses and character development doesn't rise above cliché.
VERDICT Not recommended for purchase.

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