Seventeen-year-old Avery had big plans in Washington, D.C. She had dreams. She was supposed to finish out her senior year with her best friends Hikari and Kelsi. She was supposed to head to Georgetown University with them to follow in her mother’s footsteps and study the stars. She was supposed to do a lot of things.
Until the news arrives that Mama Letty, her estranged grandmother, is dying.
Avery’s plans are suddenly scattered to the wind. Now, she’s trapped in Bardell, her mother’s hometown in rural Georgia, uprooted from everything and everyone she’s ever known. As a biracial queer girl from the city, Avery won't ever fit in here—not in this small town full of prejudice, secrets, and hate. Even Mama Letty seems to hate Avery.
But, slowly, a few blossoms begin to open. Avery befriends two of her classmates, the mysterious Jade and the beautiful Simone. Mama Letty starts opening up to her. And before Avery knows it, her big dreams and all her plans fade into the night sky as she puts down roots in Bardell.
Yet the town’s dark history is entangled within those roots, and Avery and her family are caught in the middle. As Avery learns more, she must decide if it’s worth trying to heal the wounds she finds there—or whether it’s even possible to fix something that’s been festering since long before she arrived. But her mother's pain, her family's pain, Mama Letty's pain, the pain woven through the very fabric of the whole town—passed from generation to generation, from mother to daughter, like a broken heirloom… If someone doesn't step up to try and fix it, it'll just keep on spreading.
Like the cancer that's killing Mama Letty. Like a rot in the roots.
Check out other Teens Pick of the Month!
Every month the SCCLD Teen Librarians choose one book as a great read from the library's Teen collection. This is the list of the latest picks of the month.