Someday We’ll Find It

HarperTeen. May 2022. 400p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063044654.
Gr 9 Up–Seventeen-year-old Bliss’s mom walked out of her life when she was a young girl to pursue a modeling career in Japan, leaving Bliss to be raised by her aunt and uncle in a small, rural Illinois town. Bliss, who is white, has been bundled into a shared room with her cousin Patsy; the two of them are two rivalrous cats in a bag, jealous of anything the other has. Bliss’s boyfriend, River, is angry and controlling, consumed by alcohol; their relationship is anything but consensual. A new boy, Blake, biracial Chinese and white, arrives from Chicago showing refreshing boundaries and respect—which is all new to Bliss. Despite of his father’s misgivings about his future, Blake is spearheading an attempt at organic farming, hiring Bliss and Patsy to walk the bean rows in the hot summer sun. Meanwhile, River wants Bliss to detassel the plants with him—the more miserable of the two grueling summer jobs. Bliss’s mom rolls back into town with promises of whisking Bliss away to Europe to accompany to reboot her career. Bliss is caught trying to please everyone but herself. The story line is predictable, but the delivery is superb. Characters are complex and well-drawn.
VERDICT Wilson captures the reality of the rural Midwest with an authentic voice that is both powerful and raw. A solid, first purchase.

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