From the author of The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland comes a hilarious and heartbreaking novel about coming apart, getting it together-and moving on. It's just a two-hour drive. Pondering math problems is Esther Ainsworth's obsession. If only life's puzzles required logic. Her stepfather's solution? Avoidance. He's exiled the family to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, to erase a big secret from Esther's past. So much for the truth. Now for the consequences: an empty swimming pool, a water-sucking cactus outside her window, a goldfish rescued from a church festival, and Esther's thirst for something real. Step one: forget about her first love. Step two: make allies. Esther finds them in Jesus from the local coffee bar; a girl named Color who finds beauty in an abandoned video store; Beth, the church choir outcast; and Moss, a boy with alluring possibilities. Step three: confess her secret to those she hopes she can trust. Esther's new friends do more than just listen. They're taking Esther one step further. Together, they hit the road to face Esther's past head-on. It's a journey that will lead her to embrace her own truth-in all its glory, pain, and awesomeness.
by Rebekah Crane
by Stephen Crane
by Kathleen Krull
by Kathleen Bridge
"Lauren Ezzo takes us inside Esther Ainsworth's mind as she narrates this stream-of-consciousness story. Ezzo's delivery is an emotionless monotone, although her portrayal of Color, the girl who becomes Esther's new friend and confidante, does add some feeling to the story. Esther's stepfather has moved the family from Ohio to New Mexico, hoping Esther can find "salvation" and a fresh start from the haunting, shameful secret he would like to bury. She, on the other hand, would like to uncover the secrets. She wishes life's problems were as easily solved as the math problems that are her "soulvation" and distraction, but even the math jokes she sprinkles throughout the story fail to pump life into this predictable, clichŽ-ridden work. N.E.M. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"
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