Girl, Unframed

S. & S./Simon Pulse. Jun. 2020. 368p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534426979.
Gr 9 Up–Sixteen-year-old Sydney Reilly is headed home for the summer, although her sexpot actress mother’s new house in San Francisco hardly qualifies as “home” for her. Sydney can’t shake her sense of foreboding, which intensifies when her mother’s new boyfriend is the only one at the airport to greet her. It’s going to be a summer that she won’t soon forget. Caletti’s novel is a brilliant coming-of-age story wrapped in a page-turning thriller. The atmospheric San Francisco setting enhances the overall moodiness, anxiety, and restlessness of a young woman moving from girlhood to adulthood and finding herself under the male gaze for the first time. Sydney’s understanding of herself and her place in the world is upended as she deals with best friends, first boyfriends, sexual harassment, and domestic abuse. Caletti’s sharp, complex, well-drawn character will compel and delight readers.
VERDICT Ultimately hopeful, this is one for fans of realistic contemporary dramas, with a side of mystery, and excellent writing throughout.

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