SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS
WOODS, Darcy. 352p. ebook available. Crown. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553537048.
Gr 9 Up–Seventeen-year-old Wilamena’s remaining connection with her deceased mother is the promise to honor her mother’s wishes and follow her astrologically determined destiny. Due to a rare planetary alignment, Wil has 22 days to find her perfect match. After a stargazing session at the top of a water tower turns into a
failed rescue attempt, handsome Grant Walker invites Wil to his parents’ club, Absinthe, as a peace offering.
The long line to enter the club turns out to be worth the wait. Though Grant has the wrong astrological sign, Wil has a magical dance with him but then learns that his brother, Seth, has the exact birth date for her predetermined love match. What ensues is a constant struggle as Wil fights to stave off her attraction to Grant while fostering a relationship with Seth. Grant; Wil’s best friend, Irina; her grandmother; and even Grant and Seth’s mother all seem to know what Wil refuses to acknowledge—she is fated to be with Grant. While readers will anticipate this challenge, they will enjoy the antics of the chase and devour each interaction between the likely couple. Not without their respective fairy tale components, the characters are also quirky and multidimensional. The tension builds to a climatic frenzy as Wil deals with a number of emotional crises. The ending is realistic and doesn’t take the easy way out of the love triangle. VERDICT This is a must-have title for upcoming beach reads recommendation lists.–Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD