The Unlikelies

336p. ebook available. Little, Brown. Jun. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316382861.
Gr 9 Up—Sadie is convinced that the summer before her senior year will be boring. All her friends have graduated and are leaving their small community in the Hamptons. Sadie is stuck working at the farm stand and whiling away her evenings with her parents. An unpredictable and violent attack changes Sadie's summer—and her life—in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, she is an Internet sensation and local news darling. A "hometown hero" lunch brings Sadie together with four other teenagers, sealing their fates as a misfit band of do-gooders. They take on social media trolls and negativity, creating a team that fights for underdogs and positivity. Things get tough when they go up against a local heroin dealer in an attempt to save an addicted friend. The challenges these unlikely friends face are handled with humor, love, and authentic emotions. Firestone creates characters reflective of the teenagers who will read and fall in love with these Unlikelies. Sadie's attack will shock readers into rooting for her and her friends to rise above and beat the bad guys. The elements of romance, friendship, and family prevent the story from feeling preachy and move readers along at a comfortable pace. Fans of Maureen Johnson will appreciate the exploration of friendship and romance with a touch of humor.
VERDICT A feel-good tale of friendship that's perfect for any YA collection.

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