GENRE: YA Contemporary
Guilt-ridden after the suicide of her best friend, seventeen-year-old Tenley seeks redemption by helping a boy—who hasn't left his house in over thirteen years—overcome the fears his agoraphobic mother instilled in him. But as Tenley tries to give him a life, her own is crumbling around her as she battles problems at home and a past that's never too far behind.
My toenails are naked. A year ago, I would've never allowed such a travesty—especially in the summer. It's funny how little you care about things like that after your best friend kills herself. Actually, it's funny how little you care about anything.
"What are you thinking about, Tenley?" My dad's voice cuts through my thoughts.
Sitting in a patio chair with my legs propped up on the weathered deck railing, I try to think of an answer that doesn't involve my best friend or my unattractive toes.
Shielding my eyes from the sun, I twist my neck to look at him. He's standing behind the sliding screen door with his hands in the pockets of his pleated khaki shorts. I force the corners of my mouth into a reluctant grin. "Nothing. I'm just enjoying the weather."
The weather? Did I really say that? He'll never buy it. Then again, he might be so desperate to avoid an argument that he forces himself to.
My dad rocks back on his heels. The same forced grin I gave him gets returned to me. "It is beautiful, isn't it?"
And there's my answer.
My dad is trying so hard to pretend this summer is just like any other summer spent at our beautiful lake house in the lovely town of Ludington, and that I'm the same girl I was last year.