Out today is the debut novel from Kirsten Hubbard, LIKE MANDARIN.
Set in small town Washokey, Wyoming, Like Mandarin stars Grace, an
intelligent and highly introverted high schooler who's been skipped up a
year, making her first year of high school her sophomore year. As if
that didn't make her enough of an outsider, she's also so quiet, almost
nobody notices she's there. Except, it turns out, Mandarin Ramey.
Mandarin is everything Grace wishes she could be; reckless, glamourous
and sexy. But as her friendship with Mandarin escalates at an alarming
pace, Grace starts to learn that Mandarin is perhaps not as care-free as
she likes to come across.
Hubbard's background as a travel writer is evident, as the Wyoming landscape springs to life. We see through
Grace's eyes all the loneliness and desolation of Wyoming, and the
absurdity of the beauty pageants Grace's mother forced both Grace and
now her younger sister, Taffeta. Mandarin's impulsive actions and
Grace's desire to keep up with them keeps the pages turning in this
dark, honest portrayal of a tempestuous friendship.
Good for ages 14+