The happily-ever-after of Holly Goldberg Sloan's acclaimed debut, I'll Be There, is turned on its head in this riveting, emotional sequel about friends, enemies, and how those roles can shift in a matter of moments.
Emily Bell has it all. She's in love with a boy named Sam Border, and his little brother has become part of her family. This summer is destined to be the best time of their lives--until a charismatic new girl in town sets her sights on Sam. Now Emily finds herself questioning the loyalty of the person she thought she could trust most.
But the biggest threat to her happiness is someone she never saw coming. Sam's criminally insane father, whom everyone thought they'd finally left behind, is planning a jailbreak. And he knows exactly where to find Emily and his sons when he escapes...and takes his revenge.
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Holly Goldberg Sloan is the author of the acclaimed I'll Be There and Counting by 7s, and has written and directed a number of successful family feature films. She was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and spent her childhood living in California; the Netherlands; Istanbul; Washington, DC; and Oregon. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California.From School Library Journal:
Gr 8 Up—After 10 years on the run with their paranoid schizophrenic father, brothers Sam and Riddle have found a home with Emily's family. Sam enrolls in school after a long hiatus, and Riddle emerges from his protective shell. Sam and Emily's burgeoning relationship is tenderly romantic in its authenticity. The boy finally breathes a sigh of relief—but should he? Their father, Clarence, has escaped from jail with plans of revenge. Newcomer Destiny, figuratively and literally, sets her sights on Sam and is taking no prisoners. What should have been the summer of love for the young couple ends in a dramatic confrontation with the violent Clarence. Fans of Sloan's I'll Be There (Little, Brown, 2011) will be thrilled to be reunited with Sam, Riddle, and Emily in this immensely satisfying, heartfelt, and lyrical sequel. The author's simplistic writing style allows readers to connect intimately with the characters and makes for a truly compelling novel. The only flaw in an otherwise outstanding book is a too-tidy ending. Sloan succeeds in skillfully combining the tenderness of young love, various distinct voices, and fast-paced action. Teens need not have read the first book to understand the protagonists' background, appreciate where they are, and hope for the best for their bright futures.—Laura Falli, McNeil High School, Austin, TX
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