Falling in love while in high school can be fun, nerve-wracking, confusing, beautiful and complicated. Smith depicts that warm and gushy feeling with aplomb in her young adult novel, Windfall. Her characters are well-rounded and think, act and speak like real teenagers. Their reactions to everyday situations are authentic in this outstanding page-turner that is too hard to put down.
Alice Chapman and Theodore McAvoy have been friends for nine years, and they are completely inseparable. You can hardly walk a corner throughout their Chicago high school and not see them together, but as their senior year slowly comes to a close, the ghosts of their past and their opposing personalities make them butt heads, especially as Teddy, as Alice refers to her crush affectionately, comes into a windfall of epic proportions. Will this ruin their friendship permanently? Should Alice come clean about her feelings, or move on to a bigger and brighter future? (DELACORTE, May, 432 pp., $18.99, HC, 12 & Up)