ZIGZAG describes not just the road trip 17-year-old Robin takes with family she hardly knows, but also about the crazy emotional journey she endures and how she eventually grows out of it and into a mature, lovable young woman.

The news that her boyfriend will be spending their last summer before college in Italy, is the worst of Robin's life. Soon she gets the chance to join her little-seen aunt and cousins on a zigzag road trip from Iowa to Los Angeles. Robin agrees, since she can stop in Arizona to see her father, with whom she's never had a relationship.

Her cousins are dealing with the recent death of their own dad, and Robin is often stuck in the middle playing referee, confidante and novice psychologist. But traveling to places she's never even thought about helps open her eyes to a wider world—one that might not even include her boyfriend.

Wittlinger shows the sometimes out-of-control emotions teenagers go through, whether they're dealing with their own problems or in the midst of other people's traumas. (Aug., 272 pp., $16.95)

Reviewed by: 
Taylor Morris