The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World

Simon Pulse/S. & S./. Jul. 2019. 464p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781481481762.
Gr 9 Up–Reed introduces readers to the “grand” state of Washington—home to the Rome Unicorns and Carthage Dragons, and Billy Sloat and Lydia Lemon. Billy lives his life as an optimist, or as optimistic as you can get with no mother, a cranky grandmother, and a drug-addicted missing uncle. Lydia, on the other hand, sees life as an endless cycle of misery and gloom. When the two towns’ schools must survive under the same roof, Billy’s and Lydia’s worlds collide. At first, Lydia is wary of Billy, as she is with all the people she meets, but as time goes on, she realizes that some of Billy’s optimism might just be rubbing off on her. And Billy realizes that maybe he can have a decent friend and someone he can count on. The unlikely duo forge a beautiful and strong relationship that changes them both. This is a fascinating story that’s incredibly hard to put down. Reed does a fantastic job of connecting readers to her characters with quick chapters that alternate between Billy’s and Lydia’s viewpoints, and the tale is so captivating that teens easily feel the emotions Billy and Lydia struggle with throughout the entirety of the novel.
VERDICT Fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green who also like a bit of fantasy will fall in love with Billy and Lydia. A great purchase for all contemporary young adult collections

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