I don’t often like drawing comparisons but this book is possibly Charlie Brown and Lucy grown up as teens. The small town girl genius is secretly in love with the small town boy and her only friend at high school. The Lucy character is Delaney Doyle and the Charlie Brown character is Cash Pruett. The two have befriended each other because they both are taunted and bullied by school friends. However the relationship between the two is a bit edgy and punctuated with expletives and condescension. Delaney is described as smallish, red hair, and completely in your face with her wit and intelligence. And she seems this way in order to keep bullies at bay. Cash is a bit subdued, more rational, and was raised by his grandparents. Grandparents Cash dearly loves. But it all starts when Delaney decides to apply for a scholarship at a private Prep school in Connecticut and insists her friend Cash is given a scholarship as well. So the two of them who are from a small town in Tennessee heads off to the northeast to the private academy and attempts to fit in.
The book title is “In the Wild Light” by Jeff Zentner, fiction 2021. It is suggested to be read by high schoolers and young adults. However, me a really old guy, liked ‘In the Wild Light’ and recommend it for all ages senior high and above. But I might add, I don’t care for the language used between the two but it’s their relationship that the reader should judge.
Here is the Library of Congress annotation:
Attending an elite prep school on a scholarship with his best friend (and secret love) science genius Delaney, sixteen-year-old Cash struggles with emotional pain until his English teacher suggests writing poetry.
Read it. You’ll like it.