No Boy Summer

Abrams/Amulet. Apr. 2023. 304p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419757525.
Gr 10 Up–Spalding’s newest novel is the story of Lydia and Penny’s “no boy summer,” a pact the sisters made after boys became a negative distraction in their lives. Lydia is excited to work at her aunt’s coffee shop, while Lydia works at the office of that aunt’s boyfriend. Lydia is jealous because Penny knows exactly what she wants to do with her life, while Lydia’s interests have been deemed unsatisfactory. As Lydia meets new friends at the coffee shop, she learns that she can follow her dreams, and that sometimes life leads to unexpected places. While Lydia’s story is, on the surface, about a summer with no boys, it is about her finding herself in many ways. She learns what it is to truly have friends, what it’s like to build a real relationship with her sister, and she can be authentically out as bisexual. This also shows the importance of different relationships, not just romantic ones, and how to maintain them.
VERDICT A great summer read, this will be a solid choice for teens who are trying to find themselves. The spunky main character and her friends will appeal to readers looking for a character-driven story.

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