September Girls

Bennett Madison, Author
Bennett Madison. HarperTeen, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-125563-2
Paperback - 342 pages - 978-0-06-125565-6
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-220129-4
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When 17-year-old Sam accompanies his older brother and increasingly distracted father to a washed-out beach town for the summer, after his mother inexplicably bails on the family, he expects to spend long hours watching The Price Is Right. What he doesn’t expect are legions of gorgeous, though somehow strange blonde “Girls” (as Sam thinks of them) all eyeing him like he’s, well, special. After Sam meets and feels an instant connection with one of the Girls, DeeDee, the summer takes a crazy turn. Madison gives Sam’s voice the perfect blend of sardonic sharpness and teenage uncertainty. Though the story abounds with lustful groping, alcohol-drenched parties, and profane guy-talk, moments of insight sneak up, too, like when Sam realizes that he loves his mother despite her wanderings or that his brother, though not pedestal-worthy, is an okay guy. Madison maintains the same hazy, syrupy languidness that distinguished The Blonde of the Joke, giving summer days at the shore the same sort of mythological heft the fluorescent American mall possessed in his previous book. A surprising story of a kid finding love and himself, when he wasn’t looking for either. Ages 14–up. (June)
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