My Week with Him

HarperTeen. Jul. 2023. 400p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063254749.
Gr 9 Up–Nikki plans to travel to California over spring break to audition for a singing role that will get her out of her small Texas town and her cruel mother’s house. But before she leaves, she stops by her best friend Malachai’s party to be sure he knows what he will be missing when she doesn’t return. Nikki’s plans change when her sister betrays her secret trip to their mother and Nikki is kicked out of the house. With no place left to go, Nikki returns to Malachai’s house hoping for a night of refuge. What ensues is a whirlwind week of spontaneous travel, introspection, romance, and her sister’s sudden disappearance all while chasing Nikki’s dream audition. Nikki struggles to reconcile the new information she learns about the people closest to her with her desire to escape them for good after her California audition. The plot is evenly paced despite numerous threads and oversimplified resolutions. The characters’ voices and interactions are authentic. Some readers will identify with Nikki’s tumultuous relationship with her mother, the embarrassment she feels for her family’s poverty, and her instincts to protect her younger sister. Nikki, her family, and Malachai are Black.
VERDICT Add this title to collections where romance is in high demand.

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