Adele Griffin is like Julie Anne Peters to me in that she’s one of the authors whose written a bajaillion YA books (even back when I was in the YA audience) . . . yet I’ve never really heard of her. This novel has that old fashioned YA feel. It’s not trying to do anything fancy, it’s this snapshot into the sometimes fastidious and silly lives of New York yuppies in 1976. It stays pretty rooted in it’s time and place though I have to believe the way the characters talk about Bruce Jenner are winks to the present audience.
Gil Burke is this teenaged Gatsbian figure who is raised up out of poverty by his Uncle and bought into the fold of the wealthy and reckless. He is admired by everyone including Jean Custis and visiting outsider Fritz O’Neill. Gil wants to be true to Fritz but something about Jean pulls him in and she refuses to let him go (Wow, I think I just got the title). Jean is a fascinating YA character, she has a lot of internalized issues that if you blink you can miss them.
A stand out from Algnouqin BFYR, they are the place to go for YA that’s a whole different mold. I think it’d be interesting to read this with Meg Medina’s Burn Baby Burn.
Also it turns out adult Jean will reappear in Griffin’s next book. . . so I’m intrigued.
I’m not a fan of all the voices Eva Kaminsky does in historical romances, but her performance with what I assume is her normal accent sounded amazing.
A love triangle has the whole town watching. Narrator Laura Knight Keating’s sweet, wholesome voice reflects the character of Jean Custis, a proper upper-class girl, but a different girl lurks beneath Jean’s façade. It’s the summer of 1976, and Jean’s family is vacationing at an exclusive Fire Island town. Newcomer Gil Burke has captivated the town, and Jean instantly falls for the older boy. However, Gil has eyes for outsider Fritz O’Neill, whose high spirit and gumption are admirably voiced by Eva Kaminsky. Gil and Fritz bond over their Southern roots, though their accents are notably absent. Keating and Kaminsky deliver alternating performances that lead from a perfect storm of unease, longing, and love to a shocking end. J.E.C. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine [Published: AUGUST 2017]