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368p. ebook available. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Apr. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062453075.
Gr 8 Up—Dylan Stefansky was diagnosed with cancer when he was in his early teens. Several years later, he's in remission, maybe even cured. When he returns to his high school to register, the secretary insists that he cannot do so without a parent or guardian present. Since Dylan's mother works nights and doesn't like to give up her sleeping time, Dylan is reluctant to call her. Instead, he gets in his car and drives west. In the back of his mind, Dylan is thinking about heading to California, to the Salton Sea, to look for a fabled sunken ship. Driving along the I-70, he sees a sign for a town called Amaranth, which he realizes is where Arden, whom he met playing World of Warcraft, lives. He dumps his mother's decrepit Monte Carlo at a gas station and borrows the clerk's phone to find Arden's address. The next day, the two of them head out on their quest. Arden (who is trans) and Dylan (who is gay) develop a strong emotional and physical relationship during their road trip, which is fraught with problems. When they eventually make it to California and find the Salton Sea, Dylan convinces Arden to return home, while he remains. This conclusion may frustrate readers who want a happy-ever-after ending. The slow pace of this road trip novel may also deter some teens.
VERDICT This well-written but complex book is recommended for libraries needing to expand their LGBTQ collections for advanced readers.

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