When she was only thirteen, Deanna Lambert became involved with her older brother’s friend Tommy. Tommy was seventeen at the time and Deanna thought he was gorgeous. Within a few weeks, Tommy starts picking up Deanna and driving to the local make-out spot in town. They start doing much more than make out, and sex becomes a regular occurrence even though Deanna is so young.
One day, Deanna’s father finds them having sex in Tommy’s car. He tells Tommy never to see Deanna again. Tommy ends up sharing this story with others, and it turns into gossip and rumors about Deanna.
Everyone thinks it was all Deanna’s idea, that she’s a “slut” at thirteen.
Two years later, Deanna’s reputation still follows her around. Her father will barely look at her. Her classmates still spread rumors about her. She doesn’t have the confidence to flirt with guys because she worries what they think about her.
When she receives a summer job at a pizza shop in town, she finds out that Tommy will be her co-worker all summer. She must come to terms with the regret of what happened and try to forgive him for the rumors he spread about her.
Do you think rumors and reputations can change the way people act and feel about themselves?
What do you think the benefits and drawbacks are to living in a small town like Pacifica?
Why do you think Deanna’s relationship with her father has changed so much the past two years? Why hasn’t her relationship with her mother changed as much?
Why do you think Deanna’s co-worker Michael is so nice to her?
Why do you think Deanna changes her opinion of Tommy?
National Book Award Finalist
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
IRA Honor Book
Capitol Choices Book
Utah Book Award Finalist
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