Eight-year-old Alix French befriends Nick Anderson, a handsome boy who comes from a troubled family from the wrong side of the tracks. Throughout their childhood, Alix and Nick remain the best of friends. In high school, those feelings of friendship become feelings of love, and they eventually become romantically involved.

Although they come from very different backgrounds, Alix is willing to risk her family's standing in the small town to be with Nick. When Nick's father is killed and he leaves town, Alix is heartbroken and confused and slowly begins to despise Nick for abandoning her in a difficult situation. When Nick shows up in town again, he encounters a very bitter Alix, who is angry with him for throwing away their future. Will the painful truth of what happened so many years ago bring Nick and Alix together, or will it permanently drive them apart?

Allred does a wonderful job with the story of how Alix and Nick's relationship transforms from friendship into love. The plot is intriguing and, right until the very end, keeps readers wondering if Nick and Alix will ever be together. (Dec. '05, 304 pp., $14.49)
Reviewed by: 
Nasha Kanai