Together For Never

­Holiday House. Mar. 2023. 160p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780823446124.
Gr 3-7–Kaye’s latest novel is about two 13-year-old enemies who must spend two weeks together on their summer vacation because their parents have been dating for two months and want them to get to know each other better. Lily is a loner though; she loves books and wants to spend the summer writing her own story. Charlotte, her classmate, is a popular mean girl who loves clothes, makeup, and hanging out with her friends. Neither wants to spend any time together, nor do they want their parents to date. Although they spend a lot of time sorting through feelings of jealousy, belonging, and anger (at their parents and each other), they agree to find something in common when their parents make them share a small bedroom. What they decide on is to split their parents up! Each girl decides to find someone else suitable for their parent. But when that falls through, they can bond in another, unexpected way. Charlotte gets in an accident that brings the families together and strengthens everyone’s relationships. Readers may find it hard to like Charlotte as she is superficial and cruel, but the author does include a few instances where she shows positive feelings toward Lily and Lily’s mom. And Lily, who is often portrayed as quiet, does stand up for herself and behaves in ways that shows she has empathy for Charlotte’s circumstances as well. Both main characters are cued as white.
VERDICT This quick read will appeal to readers who enjoy tales of friendship and complicated family dynamics.

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