When Wren and her best friend, Ally, begin their sophomore year at a new school, Wren is surprised that she is the one who is fitting in, while Ally is struggling. What’s more, Ally has a crush on Tim, a popular junior, but Tim would rather spend time with Wren. Tim confides in Wren that he is gay, and later, when he is outed at a party, he faces serious consequences.
When the boy you love asks you to keep his greatest secret, do you? A thought-provoking, achingly complex novel about prejudice and the many meanings of love from Nina de Gramont, author of Meet Me at the River, which Kirkus Reviews called a “must-read.”
Fifteen-year-old Wren has been content to stay in her best friend Allie’s shadow. It doesn’t bother her that Ally gets the cutest guys, the cutest clothes, and even a modeling gig—Wren is happy hanging with the horses on her family’s farm and avoiding the jealousy of other girls. But when Tim, the most intriguing guy in school, starts hanging out with Allie and Wren, jealousy is unavoidable, but not the kind Wren expects. Because even though Allie is wayyy into him and Wren hasn’t flirted, not one little bit, it becomes increasingly clear that Tim prefers Wren’s company above anyone else’s.
Tim’s unexpected devotion comes at the exact time Wren’s home life is about to be turned upside down. Her parents have just found out that the family horse farm is on land that was once a slave plantation and are struggling with whether to sell it. Wren aches at the thought of losing her horses and leaving town, but at least there is Tim…always a gentleman on their dates. Such a gentleman. Too much of a gentleman, even, and Wren begins to wish he’d be a wee bit less gentlemanly. And as Tim’s church becomes actively homophobic, his pressuring parents don’t understand why he won’t help “spread the word,” and he’s now a wreck. Then he tells Wren something he’s never told a soul, and Wren must decide what she’ll really do for love.
Cis girls: Wren, Allie
Cis boys: Tim
Heterosexual: Allie, Wrn
Not explicitly addressed.
White: Wren, Allie, Tim
Homophobia/Homomisa from Tim’s family and church. Tim attempts suicide.