From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Autumn Davis and Phineas Smith grew up together; their mothers are best friends and next-door neighbors. Hand in hand, they experienced life's milestones until adolescence; that's when they grow apart as each one struggles to form an identity outside of their families. Autumn slips to the fringes of the high school hierarchy, while Finny skyrockets to the top. They both find new friends and romantic relationships. Autumn's boyfriend, Jamie, is smart, handsome, and patient enough to nurture her through her bouts with depression. Finny's relationship with his girlfriend, Sylvie, is complex. The heart of this novel is an examination of an unresolved childhood love that is so pure and sweet that it seems too fragile to survive the turbulent years of adolescence. Using tender prose that makes it hard not to care about the main characters, this title chronicles four years of high school and the confusing post-graduation period. At the end, when Nowlin reveals why Finny should have been with Autumn all along, readers are sure to feel the ache of life's capriciousness.-Mindy Whipple, West Jordan Library, UTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Finny and Autumn have been inseparable since before birth, when their mothers were best friends, pregnant, and living beside each other. As happens with too many friendships—especially boy-girl friendships—middle school takes its toll. Finny kisses Autumn, but Autumn is not ready for their relationship to change, and so the two part ways—he to the popular crowd and his girlfriend, Sylvie, and she to the weird but cool group and her boyfriend, Jamie. At weekly dinners, birthdays, and holidays with The Mothers, it’s a strained normal, until the summer before college, when Sylvie goes to Europe and Jamie breaks up with Autumn. This sweet, authentic love story depicts complex characters dealing with complex issues: single parents, divorce, only children yet ersatz siblings; high school, college, the pull of the clique; love, friendship, sex, and teen pregnancy. All are recounted through the eyes of budding writer Autumn. First-time author Nowlin keeps the story real and fast paced all the way until the last few devastating, though not unexpected, pages. Grades 9-12. --Frances Bradburn