This is the story of the friendship of Kalyn Spence and Gus Peake. Two kids whose stories were tragically intertwined before they even knew that the other existed.
You see, Kalyn’s Dad is in prison, accused of murdering Gus’s Dad. When Kalyn moves to Samsboro, into her paternal Grandmother’s home, she is forced to attend school under an alias for fear of repercussions if people knew she was a Spence.
She tries to fly under the radar but finds her new found persona exhausting. She befriends Gus, who definitely stands out in a crowd, and finds his honesty and quiet demeanor refreshing.
Gus has lived in Samsboro his whole life with his Mom, who has never fully recovered from the loss of his father, and her wife, Tamara. Gus, who has cerebral palsy, spends most of his time with his best friend, Phil, but longs for a bigger life outside of Samsboro.
Once Gus and Kalyn begin spending time together, they grow close rather quickly and are both shocked when they discover how their lives are tied together.
Soon the kids are uncovering long-held, small-town secrets and exposing evidence that has never before been brought to light.
I really enjoyed this story. I don’t think Leah Thomas could have fit more hard-hitting topics in here if she tried!
This is a story of identity, perceptions, reality, love, hate, forgiveness, moving on; in short, it’s about life. The characters are great. I loved Kalyn and Gus both so much and even Phil, self-proclaimed antisocial personality disorder and all.
I was pleasantly surprised when the book took a mysterious turn and the kids started their own investigation. I had a lot of fun reading that aspect of the story.
I need more people to read this and be talking about it. I think there is a lot of really great rep in here and the various stories were so honestly told. It was really moving. So, yeah, if you are into Contemporary, pick this one up! It’s so worth it!!!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Bloomsbury, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to reading more from this author!