So, disclaimer: this is a little self-serving since the book was written by my wife, but I thought I'd send it out for those interested in books by Maine authors, or just good YA books. Gillian French is two-time Maine Literacy Award winner and an Edgar Award and Thriller Award finalist. The book is available on Baker & Taylor, Ingram, etc.
Sugaring Off, by Gillian French
Dazzling and evocative novel about love and loss—with a dash of thrilling mystery—for fans of Mindy McGinnis and Courtney Summers.
Left partially deaf by an early childhood tragedy that ended in her father’s incarceration, seventeen-year-old Owl is now a tracker, an explorer, a wildlife enthusiast, and always her freest self while hiking the steep forested acres surrounding her aunt and uncle’s maple sugar farm, now her home. Owl and her aunt and uncle never speak of the brutal attack that brought her to them. On the day she confronts a stranger trespassing among the maples, Owl’s sheltered existence is blown wide open by Cody—the magnetic, dangerous young man hired to help with the sugaring off. Cody seems to see her, the real her, in a way no one else does. Together, they challenge each other, learn to question their preconceptions, and risk a romance their families are desperate to stop.
But when Owl learns that some part of Cody is compelled toward self-destruction, she must make a difficult decision about their relationship at the same time she’s grappling with her father’s recent release from prison. And when a seemingly motiveless local murder draws attention to Cody, Owl realizes that Cody is in far more serious trouble than anyone knows—and it’s followed him to her mountain.
Darren French, MA
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Brewer Public Library
100 South Main Street
Brewer, Maine 04412