genre: young adult
When Ginny moves from the west coast to the east coast, she knows things will be different - but she never anticipates meeting Smitty Tibbs. Smitty, the good-looking boy in her classes that is just...not right. Autism? Maybe. His lack of emotional responses have prompted his classmates to call him "The Alien." But maybe not - Ginny's new friend Caulder doesn't think so, he thinks Smitty is in there somewhere. And eventually, Ginny decides that Smitty is worth trying to find, but the journey is not without heartache and some pretty serious consequences.
WOW. I had no idea where this book was going to take me, but it was amazing. I loved Ginny as my narrator, she had such a unique but completely teenage voice, with this desire to BE something to someone and yet to feel like she fits in. I related so much to her struggle with knowing who she really is and then having the courage to act like that girl. Smitty IS a deep character, a genius that's buried under a mask of unresponsiveness. It's a wonderfully clean story that is sensitive to issues of mental illness and abuse, with love and friendship to boot. Despite Ginny's family being almost TOO perfect (really, it's a pleasant change form the usual dysfunction), I totally loved it.
book 2 of 5 of Tricia's list for the Book Blogger Swap Challenge