Fifteen-year-old Valerie Winslow's life is about to make a radical change. Her parents are getting divorced and to complicate matters her mother has just come out of the closet, announced she was gay, and moved in with her girlfriend. On top of this earth shattering news, her father announces he is being transferred to an obscure little country in Europe. Valerie is not only losing her comfortable existence with her parents but now she is also facing the loss of her school, her best friends, and just when the boy-to-die-for is starting to ask all the right questions about her. Valerie must make a choice which parent to live with and that choice takes her on an adventure she could never have imagined.
Finding herself in a new school, in a country where she doesn't speak the language and nothing is familiar or safe, Valerie feels she has made a terrible mistake. When she gets emails from her friends at home and letters from her mother, she becomes homesick. Just when she is on the verge of asking to go home, she has an unexpected encounter with a hunk of a guy in the library, only to discover he is the country's prince.
Does Valerie return home to her friends, her school, and the boy she's adored for years or does she stick it out and see if she can win the heart of a new country and prince?
Niki Burnham has written a delightful story about the challenges facing contemporary teens today. From discussions of zits and passing notes in class to the angst of watching her parents split and having to face the revelation that her mother is gay, this book allows the reader to experience life temporarily from inside the eyes of a fifteen-year-old. Fresh, honest, and thoroughly enjoyable, this author writes with a voice that reflects today’s teens.
Diane Burke, December 2003
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