Human connection? Who needs it?
Ever since she can remember, wealthy but weary Saige Armstrong has felt different from her peers in Pechimu, New Jersey. With only one good friend to her name, she has navigated the complicated halls of high school and is now faced with the timeless question: Now what?
Fox Harrington, a fun-loving, socially charismatic graffiti artist uses his passions to colour his world exactly how he wants it. He knows exactly where his life is headed. That is, until he meets Saige.
A summer project links the two together, making a tentative friendship bloom into romance, but despite their affection for each
other, fundamental beliefs and ways of thinking threaten to destroy all they have built.
In this tender story of young love, N.K. Smith delivers a striking tale of two people standing on the precipice of adult life.
Saige Armstrong is a bit of an outcast. She dislikes practically everyone she goes to school with, except her friend Myka, and they feel the same about her. They see her as a loner, always negative and has a 'toxic' personality. Living the life she has lived, Saige doesn't take chances, basically living a life in limbo, no real direction. Then comes along Fox. Fox Harrington is basically the opposite of Saige. He's wildly popular, always happy and just an easy going kind of guy. So when Fox takes a liking to Saige, its shocking to say the least. When a summer project has them spending time together, their awkward friendship advances to something more. Saige, who has trouble committing to anything, struggles with opening up completely.
“You want to say something, don’t you?
This is one time she doesn’t turn away from me. “I want to ask
something, but I don’t know how.”
“What’s it about?”
“Um, you. Me.”
I look at her for a moment, then take out a clean sheet of paper. With the nubby pencil, I start sketching, aware that she’s watching my hands move over the page. I’d like to give this
picture more time, but Saige is sitting right next to me, probably wondering what the hell I’m doing since she just said she wanted to ask something.
When I’m finished with the rough sketch, I hand it to her and watch as more colour floods her face. She sweeps her eyes over the picture, looking at the image of her in her long dress sitting next to me, our hands touching, palm to palm.
I’ve drawn a dialogue bubble in the picture above her head. She grabs the pen next to her laptop as she sets the sheet of paper down on the table. With a shaky hand, she writes, “Are you mine?” in the bubble.
The muscles in my face ache from the strain of the smile I’m holding as my mind makes sense of the letters. I know the grin is toothy and goofy, but I can’t push down the childish giddiness of her printed question. First, I draw another dialogue bubble above my head, then carefully pluck the pen from her hands. I make sure to caress her fingers as I withdraw mine, and watch as she shivers just a little at the same time a ripple of excitement meanders through me.
I normally hate writing anything because I can never tell if what I write is wrong or not, but I’m confident in this. Not only is it a small word, but I know Saige won’t make fun of me even if it does come out wrong. So I take the tip of the pen and press it against the paper to carefully write, “Yes."
I guess its true when they say opposites attract, because Saige and Fox are pretty much complete opposites. While Fox is outgoing, social and eternally optimistic, Saige is a recluse, a loner and a pessimist. But somehow they work so well with one another. Fox provides Saige with the confidence to step outside her comfort zone, try new things. it's not always easy, but they try to make it work. I found it difficult to connect with Saige. In my eyes she's too sour and just an 'angry' person. I wanted to see more spark from her, see her try a little harder, perhaps? There were times I wanted to grab her and shake some sense into her.
Underneath your hard, abrasive exterior and underneath my soft, friendly persona, we're the same. You hide out and I let out. You go inside yourself and I go outside myself, but apart from what's out here," I say, gesturing to her, myself and our surroundings, 'we're just little kids wondering if anyone else understands what it's like to lose the things we've lost"
It was slow to get going, and I guess I'm so used to stories with big drama, high octane angst, that this story was too 'mellow'. Yes there was drama, but it felt like it needed more, just to give it the kick to really bring it home. I really enjoyed the last 1/4 of the book and then ending was great. I would of loved an epilogue, probably because I'm a greedy girl, but I would of loved to see this couple a little further into the future, as there as still questions that need to be answered.