­Listening ­Library. 2021. 849p. $63. ISBN 9780593399569.
Gr 7 Up–Avery is in an early summer funk. She broke up with her boyfriend, then wanted to see if they could start over, but her best friend swooped in and took him before she could act. Then her parents took her and her younger, more popular sister, Lauren, to a remote (read: no internet or cell service) resort. Angry and unsettled, both by the locale and her parents’ perception of her as pliable and always meeting everyone’s expectations, Avery vows to try different and challenging things this summer. There are a few problems, however. She’s resentful and feels intimidated by Lauren’s breezy popularity and penchant for filming everything on her phone for her online video channel. Then she meets Brooks, a resort employee and member of the band that plays during the dinner meal. Their initial friction quickly turns to attraction, even though staff-guest socialization is prohibited. When they start writing a song and Brooks wants to use it for a festival competition, it’s a terrifying moment for Avery. How she pushes through her fear and social anxiety makes for an absorbing tale.
VERDICT Listeners who can get beyond Avery’s balancing act on the annoying/sympathetic tightrope will be well rewarded and most likely be cheering at the end.

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