Lee’s first novel is a wonder. Ripe with the beginnings of first love between two emotionally scarred people, readers will stay invested. Lee paints an interesting portrait of the problems facing inner-city children, and the emotional upheavals caused them by their parents’ poor decisions.

Avery Michaels lives life loosely. She runs through men, yet to find one who can reach beyond her in-the-face attitude to the vulnerable and frightened woman beneath. Enter Bennett. He intends to wait for love before he gives himself, and he thinks Ms. Right might just be Avery. Avery’s secrets have her holding everyone at bay, but Bennett’s loving persuasion melts her resistance, until an ugly face from her past returns. Now Avery needs Bennett more than ever, but will she reach out to him? (US.PENGUINGROUP.COM/PAGES/INTERMIX, Sep., 295 pp., $3.99, ISBN: 9780698141254, E, 18 & Up)

Reviewed by: 
Sabrina Cooper