Vanni was planning to leave New Mexico right after graduation, but when her dad is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she must put her plans on hold. She feels stuck and discouraged, but then she meets Leigh, who starts out as a friend but becomes something more.
“A gorgeously written and deeply felt literary young adult novel of identity, millennial anxiety, and first love, from the widely acclaimed author of The Mystery of Hollow Places
In Savannah Espinoza’s small New Mexico hometown, kids either flee after graduation or they’re trapped there forever. Vanni never planned to get stuck—but that was before her father was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, leaving her and her mother to care for him. Now, she doesn’t have much of a plan at all: living at home, working as a performing mermaid at a second-rate water park, distracting herself with one boy after another.
That changes the day she meets Leigh. Disillusioned with small-town life and looking for something greater, Leigh is not a “nice girl.” She is unlike anyone Vanni has met, and a friend when Vanni desperately needs one. Soon enough, Leigh is much more than a friend. But caring about another person stirs up the moat Vanni has carefully constructed around herself, and threatens to bring to the surface the questions she’s held under for so long.
With her signature stunning writing, Rebecca Podos, author of The Mystery of Hollow Places, has crafted a story of first love and of the complex ways in which the deepest parts of us are hidden, even from ourselves.”
Cis girls: Vanni
Genderqueer/non-binary: Leigh (side character)
Vanni is bisexual
Vanni is biromantic.
Vanni’s dad is diagnosed with Parkinson’s
Substance abuse and alcoholism