The First To Know

336p. Harlequin Teen. Nov. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781335007940.
Gr 9 Up—An easy and entertaining realistic YA tale. Ambitious 17-year-old softball player Dana Fields plans to surprise her dad with "the birthday presents of all birthday presents." En route to the surprise, Dana discovers a brother that no one knew about. Readers are introduced to Dana's struggle with handling this news among her family and handling her newfound sibling, who also comes with a love interest. As all the information comes to the surface, the protagonist must find the right words and approach to keep all the important relationships in her life together. Dana is a character many teens can find pieces of themselves in, and the challenges she experiences and overcomes make her a relatable protagonist. All the characters are brought to life with nuanced depiction. Filled with drama, the narrative has notes of comedy, romance, and an underlying softball theme, which makes it accessible for all kinds of readers. Young people will find the ending heartwarming and satisfying.
VERDICT An overall enjoyable choice for realistic fiction collections.

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